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Title: The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891" ***

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OCTOBER, 1891.

[Illustration: James Russell Lowell (signed J. R. Lowell)]



    With loving breath of all the winds, his name
      Is blown about the world; but to his friends
    A sweeter secret hides behind his fame,
    And love steals shyly through the loud acclaim
      To murmur a _God bless you_! and there ends.

When Longfellow had reached his sixtieth year, James Russell Lowell,
then in his splendid prime, sent him those lines as a birthday
greeting. Lowell, since then, received in his turn many similar
tributes of affection, but none that seemed to speak so promptly from
the heart as those touching words of love to an old friend. To himself
they might well have been applied in all truthfulness and sincerity.
Of the famous group of New England singers, that gave strength and
reality to American letters, but three names survived until the other
day, when, perhaps the greatest of them all passed away. Whittier and
Holmes remain, but Lowell, the younger of the three, and from whom so
much was still expected, is no more to gladden, to delight, to enrich,
and to instruct the age in which he occupied so eminent a place.
Bryant was the first to go, and then Longfellow was called. Emerson
followed soon after, and now it is Lowell's hand which has dropped
forever the pen. At first his illness did not cause much uneasiness,
but those near him soon began to observe indications of the great
change that was going on. At the last, dissolution was not slow in
coming, and death relieved the patient of his sufferings in the early
hours of Wednesday, August 12th. Practically, however, it was conceded
that his life-work had been completed a few months ago, when his
publishers presented the reading world with his writings in ten
sumptuous volumes, six containing the prose works, and the other four
the poems and satires. He was, with the single exception of Matthew
Arnold, the foremost critic of his time. Everything he said was well
said. The jewels abounded on all sides. His adroitness, his fancy, his
insight, his perfect good-humor, and his rare scholarship and delicate
art, emphasize themselves on every page of his books. His political
and literary addresses were models of what those things should be.
They were often graceful and epigrammatic, but always sterling in
their value and full of thought. Long ago he established his claim to
the title of poet, and as the years went by, his muse grew stronger,
richer, fresher, and more original. As an English critic, writing
pleasantly of him and his work, in the London _Spectator_ said lately:
"His books are delightful reading, with no monotony except a monotony
of brilliance which an occasional lapse into dulness would almost

James Russell Lowell was descended from a notable ancestry. His father
was a clergyman, the pastor of the West Church in Boston. His mother
was a woman of fine mind, a great lover of poetry, and mistress of
several languages. From her, undoubtedly, the gifted son inherited his
taste for _belles-lettres_ and foreign tongues. He was born at
Cambridge, Mass., on the 22d of February, 1819, and named after his
father's maternal grandfather, Judge James Russell. After spending a
few years at the town school, under Mr. William Wells, a famous
teacher in his day, he entered Harvard University, and in 1838 was
graduated. He wrote the class poem of the year, and took up the study
of law. But the latter he soon relinquished for letters. His first
book was a small collection of verse entitled "A Year's Life." It gave
indication of what followed. There were traces of real poetry in the
volume, and none who read it doubted the poet's future success in his
courtship of the muse. In 1843 he tried magazine publishing, his
partner in the venture being Robert Carter. Three numbers only of _The
Pioneer_, _a Literary and Critical Magazine_, were published, and
though it contained contributions by Hawthorne, Lowell, Poe, Dwight,
Neal, Mrs. Browning, and Parsons, it failed to make its way, and the
young editor prudently withdrew it. In the next year he published the
"Legend of Brittany, Miscellaneous Poems and Sonnets." A marked
advance in his art was immediately noticed. His lyrical strength, his
passion, his terse vocabulary, his exquisite fancy and tenderness
illumed every page, giving it dignity and color. The legend reminded
the reader of an Old World poem, and "Prometheus" too, might have been
written abroad. "Rhoecus" was cast in the Greek mold, and told the
story, very beautifully and very artistically, of the wood-nymph and
the bee. But there were other poems in the collection, such as "To
Perdita Singing," "The Heritage," and "The Forlorn," which at once
caught the ear of lovers of true melody. A volume of prose essays
succeeded this book. It was entitled "Conversations on some of the Old
Poets," and when Mr. Lowell became Mr. Longfellow's successor in the
chair of modern languages and _belles-lettres_ at Harvard, much of
this material was used in his lectures to the students. But later on,
we will concern ourselves more directly with the author's prose.

In December, 1844, Mr. Lowell espoused Miss Maria White, of Watertown.
She was a lady of gentle character, and a poet of singular grace. The
marriage was a most happy one, and it was to her that many of the love
poems of Lowell were inscribed. Once he wrote:--

    "A lily thou wast when I saw thee first,
       A lily-bud not opened quite,
       That hourly grew more pure and white,
    By morning, and noon-tide, and evening nursed:
    In all of Nature thou had'st thy share;
              Thou wast waited on
              By the wind and sun;
    The rain and the dew for thee took care;
    It seemed thou never could'st be more fair."

She died on the 27th of October, 1853, the day that a child was born
to Mr. Longfellow. The latter's touching and perfect poem, "The Two
Angels," refers to this death and birth:--

    "'T was at thy door, O friend! and not at mine,
       The angel with the amaranthine wreath,
    Pausing, descended, and with voice divine,
       Whispered a word that had a sound like death.

    Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
      A shadow on those features fair and thin;
    And softly, from that hushed and darkened room,
      Two angels issued, where but one went in.

    All is of God! If He but wave His hand,
      The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud,
    Till with a smile of light on sea and land,
      Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud."

A privately printed volume of Mrs. Lowell's poems appeared a year or
two after her death. Mr. Lowell's second wife was Miss Frances Dunlap,
of Portland, Maine, whom he married in September, 1857. She died in
February, 1885.

Mr. Lowell was ever pronounced in his hatred of wrong, and naturally
enough he was found on the side of Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and
Whittier, in their great battle against that huge blot on
civilization, slavery in America. He spoke and wrote in behalf of the
abolitionists at a time when the anti-slavery men were openly despised
as heartily in the North as they were feared and detested in the
South. He wrote with a pen which never faltered, and satire, irony,
and fierce invective accomplished their work with a will, and moved
many a heart, almost despairing, to renewed energy.

"The Vision of Sir Launfal" was published in 1848, and it will be read
as long as men and women admire tales of chivalry and the stirring
stories of King Arthur's court. Tennyson's "Idyls" will keep his fame
alive, and Lowell's Sir Launfal, which tells of the search for the
Holy Grail, the cup from which Christ drank when he partook of the
last supper with his disciples, will also have a place among the best
of the Arthurian legends. It is said that Mr. Lowell wrote this strong
poem in forty-eight hours, during which he hardly slept or ate.
Stedman calls it "a landscape poem," a term amply justified. It
contains many quotable extracts, such as, "And what is so rare as a
day in June," "Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak, from
the snow five thousand summers old," and "Earth gets its price for
what earth gives us." We are constantly meeting these in the magazines
and in the newspapers. The vision did much to bring about a larger
recognition of the author's powers as a poet of the first order. He
had to wait some time to gain this, and in that respect he resembled
Robert Browning, at first so obscure, at last compelling approval
from all.

The field of American literature, as it existed in 1848, was surveyed
by Lowell in his happiest manner, as a satirist, in that clever
production, by a wonderful Quiz, A Fable for Critics, "Set forth in
October, the 31st day, in the year '48, G. P. Putnam, Broadway." For
some time the authorship remained a secret, though there were many
shrewd guesses as to the paternity of the biting shafts of wit and
delicately baited hooks. It was written mainly for the author's own
amusement, and with no thought of publication. Daily instalments of
the poem were sent off, as soon as written, to a friend of the poet,
Mr. Charles F. Briggs, of New York, who found the lines so
irresistibly good, that he begged permission to hand them over to
Putnam's for publication. This, however, Mr. Lowell declined to do,
until he found that the repeated urging of his friend would not be
stayed. Then he consented to anonymous publication. The secret was
kept, until, as the author himself tells us, "several persons laid
claim to its authorship." No poem has been oftener quoted than the
fable. It is full of audacious things. The authors of the day, and
their peculiar characteristics (Lowell himself not being spared in the
least), are held up to admiring audiences with all their sins and
foibles exposed to the public gaze. It was intended to have "a sting
in his tale," this "frail, slender thing, rhymey-winged," and it had
it decidedly. Some of the authors lampooned took the matter up, in
downright sober earnest, and objected to the seat in the pillory which
they were forced to occupy unwillingly. But they forgave the satirist,
as the days went by, and they realized that, after all, the fun was
harmless, nobody was hurt actually, and all were treated alike by the
ready knife of the fabler. But what could they say to a man who thus
wrote of himself?--

    "There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb
    With a whole bale of _isms_ tied together with rhyme,
    He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders,
    But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders.
    The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching
    Till he learns the distinction 'twixt singing and preaching;
    His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well,
    But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell,
    And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem,
    At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem."

Apart from the humorous aspect of the fable, there is, certainly, a
good deal of sound criticism in the piece. It may be brief, it may be
inadequate, it may be blunt, but for all that it is truthful, and
decidedly just, as far as it goes. Bryant, who was called cold, took
umbrage at the portrait drawn of him. But his verse has all the cold
glitter of the Greek bards, despite the fact that he is America's
greatest poet of nature, and some of his songs are both sympathetic
and sweet, such as the "Lines to a Water-fowl," "The Flood of Years,"
"The Little People of the Snow," and "Thanatopsis."

But now we come to the book which gave Mr. Lowell his strongest place
in American letters, and revealed his remarkable powers as a humorist,
satirist, and thinker. We have him in this work, at his very best. The
vein had never been thoroughly worked before. The Yankee of Haliburton
appeared ten years earlier than the creations of Lowell. But Sam Slick
was a totally different person from Hosea Biglow and Birdofredum
Sawin. Slick was a very interesting man, and he has his place in
fiction. His sayings and doings are still read, and his wise saws
continue to be pondered over. But the Biglow type seems to our mind,
more complete, more rounded, more perfect, more true, indeed, to
nature. The art is well proportioned all through, and the author
justifies Bungay's assumption, that he had attained the rank of
Butler, whose satire heads the list of all such productions. Butler,
however, Lowell really surpassed. The movement is swift, and there is
an individuality about the whole performance, which stamps it
undeniably as a masterpiece. The down-east dialect is managed with
consummate skill, the character-drawing is superlatively fine, and the
sentiments uttered, ringing like a bell, carry conviction. The
invasion of Mexico was a distasteful thing to many people because it
was felt that that war was dishonorable, and undertaken solely for the
benefit of the slaveholder, who was looking out for new premises,
where he might ply his calling, and continue the awful trade of
bondage, and his dealings in flesh and blood. Mr. Lowell's heart was
steeled against that expedition, and the first series of his Biglow
papers, introduced to the world by the Reverend Homer Wilbur, showed
how deeply earnest he was, and how terribly rigorous he could be, when
the scalpel had to be used. The first knowledge that the reading
world had of the curious, ingenuous, and quaint Hosea, was the
communication which his father, Ezekiel Biglow, sent to the Boston
_Courier_, covering a poem in the Yankee dialect, by the hand of the
young down-easter. It at once commanded notice. The idea was so new,
the homely truths were so well put, the language in print was so
unusual, and the "hits" were so well aimed, that the critics were
baffled. The public took hold immediately, and it soon spread that a
strong and bold pen was helping the reformers in their unpopular
struggle. The blows were struck relentlessly, but men and women
laughed through their indignation. There were some who rebelled at the
coarseness of the satire, but all recognized that the author, whoever
he might be, was a scholar, a man of thought, and a genuine
philanthropist, who could not be put down. Volunteers were wanted, and
Boston was asked to raise her quota. But Hosea Biglow, in his
charmingly scornful way said:--

    "Thrash away, you'll _hev_ to rattle
      On them kittle-drums o' yourn,--
    'Taint a knowin' kind o' cattle
      Thet is ketched with mouldy corn.

    Put in stiff, you fifer feller,
      Let folks see how spry you be,--
    Guess you'll toot till you are yaller
      'Fore you git ahold o' me!"

The parson adds a note, sprinkled with Latin and Greek sentences, as
is his wont. The letters from the first page to the last, in the
collected papers, are amazingly clever. The reverend gentleman who
edits the series is a type himself, full of pedantic and pedagogic
learning, anxious always to show off his knowledge of the classics,
and solemn and serious ever as a veritable owl. His notes and
introductions, and scrappy Latin and Greek, are among the most
admirable things in the book. Their humor is delicious, and the mock
criticisms and opinions of the press, offered by Wilbur on the work of
his young friend, and his magnificent seriousness, which constantly
shows itself, give a zest to the performance, which lingers long on
the mind. The third letter contains the often-quoted poem, "What Mr.
Robinson Thinks."

    "Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
      He's ben on all sides that give place or pelf;
    But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,--
      He's ben true to _one_ party,--an' thet is himself:--
                  So John P.
                  Robinson, he
      Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Parson Wilbur sez _he_ never heerd in his life
      That th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller tail coats,
    An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
      To get some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
                  But John P.
                  Robinson, he
      Says they didn't know everything down in Judee."

Despite the sometimes harsh criticism which the Biglow papers evoked,
Mr. Lowell kept on sending them out at regular intervals, knowing that
every blow struck was a blow in the cause of right, and every attack
was an attack on the meannesses of the time. The flexible dialect
seemed to add honesty to the poet's invective. The satire was
oftentimes savage enough, but the vehicle by which it was conveyed,
carried it off. There was danger that Lowell might exceed his limit,
but the excess so nearly reached, never came. The papers aroused the
whole country, said Whittier, and did as much to free the slave,
almost, as Grant's guns. In one of the numbers, Mr. Lowell produced,
quite by accident, as it were, his celebrated poem of "The Courtin'."
This was in the second series, begun in the _Atlantic Monthly_, of
which he was, in 1857, one of the founders, and editor. This series
was written during the time of the American Civil War, and the object
was to ridicule the revolt of the Southern States, and show up the
demon of secession in its true colors. Birdofredum Sawin, now a
secessionist, writes to Hosea Biglow, and the poem is, of course,
introduced as usual, by the parson. The humor is more grim and
sardonic, for the war was a stern reality, and Mr. Lowell felt the
need of making his work tell with all the force that he could put into
it. In response to a request for enough "copy" to fill out a certain
editorial page, Lowell wrote rapidly down the verses which became, at
a bound, so popular. He added, from time to time, other lines. This is
the story of the Yankee courtship of Zekle and Huldy:--

    "The very room, coz she was in,
      Seemed warm f'om floor to ceilin',
    An' she looked full ez rosy agin
      Ez the apples she was peelin'.

       *       *       *       *       *

    He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
      Some doubtfle o' the sekle,
    His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,
      But hern went pity Zekle.

    An' yit she gin her chair a jerk
      As though she wished him furder,
    An' on her apples kep' to work,
      Parin' away like murder.

    'You want to see my pa, I s'pose?'
      'Wall,--no--I come dasignin'--'
    'To see my ma? She's sprinklin' clo's
      Agin to-morrer's i'nin.'

    To say why gals acts so or so,
      Or don't 'ould be prosumin',
    Mebby to mean _yes_ an' say _no_
      Comes natural to women.

    He stood a spell on one foot fust,
      Then stood a spell on t'other,
    An' on which one he felt the wust
      He couldn't ha' told ye nuther.

    Says he, 'I'd better call agin;'
      Says she, 'Think likely, mister;'
    Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
      An'--wall, he up an' kist her.

    When ma bimeby upon 'em slips,
      Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
    All kin' o' smily roun' the lips
      An' teary roun' the lashes.

    For she was jes' the quiet kind
      Whose natures never vary,
    Like streams that keep a summer wind
      Snow-hid in Janooary.

    The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued
      Too tight for all expressin',
    Till mother see how matters stood,
      An' gin 'em both her blessin'.

    Then her red come back like the tide
      Down to the Bay o' Fundy,
    An' all I know is they war cried
      In meetin' come nex' Sunday."

During the war, Great Britain sided principally with the South. This
the North resented, and the Trent affair only added fuel to the
flame. It was in one of the Biglow papers that Mr. Lowell spoke to
England, voicing the sentiments and feelings of the Northern people.
That poem was called "Jonathan to John," and it made a great
impression on two continents. It was full of the keenest irony, and
though bitter, there was enough common sense in it, to make men read
it, and think. It closes thus patriotically:--

    "Shall it be love, or hate, John?
      It's you thet's to decide;
    Ain't _your_ bonds held by Fate, John,
      Like all the world's beside?'
        Ole Uncle S. sez he, 'I guess
        Wise men forgive,' sez he,
    'But not forgit; an' some time yit
        Thet truth may strike J. B.,
        Ez wal ez you an' me!'

    'God means to make this land, John,
      Clear, then, from sea to sea.
    Believe an' understand, John,
      The _wuth_ o' bein' free.'
        Ole Uncle S. sez he, 'I guess,
        God's price is high,' sez he;
    'But nothin' else than wut He sells
        Wears long, an' thet J. B.
        May larn, like you an' me!'"

The work concludes with notes, a glossary of Yankee terms, and a
copious index. The chapter which tells of the death of Parson Wilbur
is one of the most exquisite things that Lowell has done in prose. The
reader who has followed the fortunes of the Reverend Homer, is
profoundly touched by the reflection that he will see him no more. He
had grown to be a real personage, and long association with him had
made him a friend. On this point, Mr. Underwood relates an incident,
which is worth quoting here:--

     "The thought of grief for the death of an imaginary person is not
     quite so absurd as it might appear. One day, while the great
     novel of 'The Newcomes' was in course of publication, Lowell, who
     was then in London, met Thackeray on the street. The novelist was
     serious in manner, and his looks and voice told of weariness and
     affliction. He saw the kindly inquiry in the poet's eyes, and
     said, 'Come into Evan's and I'll tell you all about it. I have
     killed the Colonel.'"

So they walked in and took a table in a remote corner, and then
Thackeray, drawing the fresh sheets of manuscript from his breast
pocket, read through that exquisitely touching chapter which records
the death of Colonel Newcome. When he came to the final _Adsum_, the
tears which had been swelling his lids for some time trickled down
upon his face, and the last word was almost an inarticulate sob.

The volume "Under the Willows," which contains the poems written at
intervals during ten or a dozen years, includes such well-remembered
favorites as "The First Snowfall," for an autograph "A Winter Evening
Hymn to My Fire," "The Dead House" (wonderfully beautiful it is), "The
Darkened Mind," "In the Twilight," and the vigorous "Villa Franca" so
full of moral strength. It appeared in 1869. Mr. Lowell's pen was
always busy about this time and earlier. He was a regular contributor
to the _Atlantic_ in prose and verse. He was lecturing to his students
and helping Longfellow with his matchless translation of Dante,
besides having other irons in the fire.

It is admitted that the greatest poem of the Civil War was, by all
odds, Mr. Lowell's noble commemoration ode. In that blood-red struggle
several of his kinsmen were slain, among them Gen. C. R. Lowell,
Lieut. I. I. Lowell, and Lieutenant Putnam, all nephews. His ode which
was written in 1865, and recited July 21, at the Harvard commemoration
services, is dedicated "To the ever sweet and shining memory of the
ninety-three sons of Harvard College, who have died for their country
in the war of nationality." It is, in every way, a great effort, and
the historic occasion which called it forth will not be forgotten. The
audience assembled to listen to it was very large. No hall could hold
the company, and so the ringing words were spoken in the open air.
Meade, the hero of Gettysburg, stood at one side, and near him were
Story, poet and sculptor, fresh from Rome, and General Devens,
afterwards judge, and fellows of Lowell's own class at college. The
most distinguished people of the Commonwealth lent their presence to
the scene. There was a hushed silence while Lowell spoke, and when he
uttered the last grand words of his ode, every heart was full, and the
old wounds bled afresh, for hardly one of that vast throng had escaped
the badge of mourning, for a son, or brother, or father, lost in that

    "Bow down, dear land, for thou hast found release!
      Thy God, in these distempered days,
      Hath taught thee the sure wisdom of His ways,
    And through thine enemies hath wrought thy peace!
      Bow down in prayer and praise!
    No poorest in thy borders but may now
    Lift to the juster skies a man's enfranchised brow.

    O Beautiful! My Country! ours once more!
      Smoothing thy gold of war-disheveled hair
    O'er such sweet brows as never other wore,
            And letting thy set lips,
            Freed from wrath's pale eclipse,
      The rosy edges of their smile lay bare.

    What words divine of lover or of poet
      Could tell our love and make thee know it,
    Among the nations bright beyond compare?
        What were our lives without thee?
        What all our lives to save thee?
        We reck not what we gave thee;
        We will not dare to doubt thee,
    But ask whatever else, and we will dare.

"The Cathedral," dedicated most felicitously to the late James T.
Fields, the author publisher, written in 1869, was published early in
the following year in the _Atlantic Monthly_, and immediately won the
applause of the more thoughtful reader. It is a poem of great
grandeur, suggestive in the highest degree and rich in description and
literary finish. Three memorial odes, one read at the one hundredth
anniversary of the fight at Concord Bridge, one under the old elm, and
one for the Fourth of July, 1876, followed. The Concord ode appears to
be the more striking and brilliant of the three, but all are
satisfactory specimens, measured by the standard which governs the

"Heartsease and Rue," is the graceful title of Mr. Lowell's last
volume of verse. A good many of his personal poems are included in the
collection, such as his charming epistle to George William Curtis, the
elegant author of "Prue and I," one of the sweetest books ever
written, inscribed to Mrs. Henry W. Longfellow, in memory of the happy
hours at our castles in Spain; the magnificent apostrophe to Agassiz;
the birthday offering to Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes; the lines to
Whittier on his seventy-fifth birthday; the verses on receiving a copy
of Mr. Austin Dobson's "Old World Idyls," and Fitz Adam's story,
playful, humorous, and idyllic.

In his young days, Mr. Lowell wrote much for the newspapers and
serials. To the _Dial_, the organ of the transcendentalists, he
contributed frequently, and his poems and prose will be found
scattered through the pages of _The Democratic Review_, _The North
American Review_, of which he ultimately became editor, _The
Massachusetts Quarterly Review_, and the Boston _Courier_. His prose
was well received by scholars. It is terse and strong, and whatever
position history may assign to him as a poet there can never be any
question about his place among the ablest essayists of his century.
"Fireside Travels," the first of the brilliant series of prose works
that we have, attract by their singular grace and graciousness. The
picture of Cambridge thirty years ago, is full of charming
reminiscences that must be very dear to Cambridge men and women. "The
Moosehead Journal," and "Leaves from the Journal in Italy, Happily
Turned," are rich in local color. "Among My Books," and "My Study
Windows," the addresses on literary and political topics, and the
really able paper on Democracy, which proved a formidable answer to
his critics, fill out the list of Mr. Lowell's prose contributions.
The literary essays are especially well done. Keats tinged his poetry
when he was quite a young man. He never lost taste of Endymion or the
Grecian urn, and his estimate of the poet, whose "name was writ in
water," is in excellent form and full of sympathy. Wordsworth, too, he
read and re-read with fresh delight, and it is interesting to compare
his views of the lake poet with those of Matthew Arnold. The older
poets, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, Dryden, and Pope
in English, and Dante in Italian, find in Mr. Lowell a penetrating and
helpful critic. His analyses are made with rare skill and nice
discrimination. He is never hasty in giving expression to his opinion,
and every view that he gives utterance to, exhibits the process by
which it reached its development. The thought grows under his hand,
apparently. The paper on Pope, with whose writings he was familiar at
an early age, is a most valuable one, being especially rich in
allusion and in quality. He finds something new to say about the bard
of Avon, and says it in a way which emphasizes its originality.
Indeed, every essay is a strong presentation of what Lowell had in his
mind at the time. He is not content to confine his observation to the
name before him. He enlarges always the scope of his paper, and runs
afield, picking up here and there citations, and illustrating his
points, by copious drafts on literature, history, scenery, and
episode. He was well equipped for his task, and his wealth of
knowledge, his fine scholarly taste, his remarkable grasp of
everything that he undertook, his extensive reading, all within call,
added to a captivating style, imparted to his writings the tone which
no other essayist contemporary with him, save Matthew Arnold, was able
to achieve. Thoreau and Emerson are adequately treated, and the
library of old authors is a capital digest, which all may read with
profit. The paper on Carlyle, which is more than a mere review of the
old historian's "Frederick the Great," is a noble bit of writing,
sympathetic in touch, and striking as a portrait. It was written in
1866. And then there are papers in the volumes on Lessing, Swinburne's
Tragedies, Rousseau, and the Sentimentalists, and Josiah Quincy, which
bring out Mr. Lowell's critical acumen even stronger. Every one who
has read anything during the last fifteen years or so, must remember
that bright _Atlantic_ essay on "A Certain Condescension in
Foreigners." It is Mr. Lowell's serenest vein, hitting right and left
skilful blows, and asserting constantly his lofty Americanism. The
essay was needed. A lesson had to be given, and no better hands could
have imparted it. Mr. Lowell was a master of form in literary
composition,--that is in his prose, for he has been caught napping,
occasionally, in his poetry,--and his difficulty was slight in
choosing his words.

As a speaker he was successful. His addresses before noted gatherings
in Britain and elsewhere are highly artistic. In Westminster Abbey he
pronounced two, one on Dean Stanley, and the other on Coleridge,
which, though brief, could scarcely be excelled, so perfect, so
admirable, so dignified are they. The same may be said of the
addresses on General Garfield, Fielding, Wordsworth, and Don Quixote.
Mr. Lowell on such occasions always acquitted himself gracefully. He
had few gestures, his voice was sweet, and the beauty of his language,
his geniality, and courteous manner drew every one towards him. He was
a great student, and preacher, and teacher of reform. He was in favor
of the copyright law, and did his utmost to bring it about. He worked
hard to secure tariff reform, and a pet idea of his was the
reformation of the American civil service system. On all these
subjects he spoke and wrote to the people with sincerity and
earnestness. When aroused he could be eloquent, and even in later
life, sometimes, some of the fire of the early days when he fought the
slaveholders and the oppressors, would burst out with its old time
energy. He was ever outspoken and fearless, regardless, apparently, of
consequences, so long as his cause was just.

As professor of _belles-lettres_ at Harvard University, he had ample
opportunity for cultivating his literary studies, and though he
continued to take a lively interest always in the political changes
and upheavals constantly going on about him, he never applied for
office. In politics he was a Republican. His party offered him the
mission to Russia, but he declined the honor. During the Hayes
administration, however, when his old classmate, General Devens, had a
seat in the Cabinet, the government was more successful with him. He
was tendered the post of Minister to Spain. This was in 1877, and he
accepted it, somewhat half-heartedly, to be sure, for he had
misgivings about leaving his lovely home at Elmwood, the house he was
born in, the pride and glory of his life, the _locale_ of many of his
poems, the historic relic of royalist days. And then again, he did not
care to leave the then unbroken circle of friends, for Dr. Holmes,
John Holmes, Agassiz, Longfellow, Norton, Fields, John Bartlett,
Whipple, Hale, James Freeman Clarke, and others of the famous Saturday
club, he saw almost every day. And then, yet again, there was the
whist club, how could he leave that? But he was overcome, and he went
to Spain, and began, among the grandees and dons, his diplomatic
career. His fame had preceded him, and he knew the language and
literature of Cervantes well. It was not long before he became the
friend of all with whom he came into contact. But no great diplomatic
work engaged his attention, for there was none to do. The Queen
Mercedes died, during his term, much beloved, and Mr. Lowell wrote in
her memory one of his most chaste and beautiful sonnets:--

    "Hers all that earth could promise or bestow,--
      Youth, Beauty, Love, a crown, the beckoning years,
      Lids never wet, unless with joyous tears,
    A life remote from every sordid woe,
    And by a nation's swelled to lordlier flow.
      What lurking-place, thought we, for doubts or fears,
      When, the day's swan, she swam along the cheers
    Of the Acalá, five happy months ago?
      The guns were shouting Io Hymen then
    That, on her birthday, now denounce her doom;
      The same white steeds that tossed their scorn of men
    To-day as proudly drag her to the tomb.
      Grim jest of fate! yet who dare call it blind,
      Knowing what life is, what our humankind?"

In 1880, he was transferred to London, as "his excellency, the
ambassador of American literature to the court of Shakespeare," as a
writer in the _Spectator_ deliciously put it. He had a good field to
work in, but, as the duties were light, he had ample time on his
hands. He went about everywhere, the idol of all, the most engaging of
men. Naturally, his tastes led him among scholars who in their turn
made much of him. He was asked frequently to speak or deliver
addresses and he always responded with tact. The universities of
Oxford and Cambridge conferred on him their highest honors and the
ancient Scottish University of Saint Andrew elected him rector,--a
rare compliment, Emerson only being the other citizen of the United
States so marked out for academic distinction. Some of his compatriots
hinted that his English life was making him un-American. Others more
openly asserted that the United States minister was fast losing the
republic feelings which he took from America, and was becoming a
British Conservative. The reply to those innuendoes and charges will
be found in his spirited address on Democracy, which proves undeniably
his sturdy faith in American institutions, American principles, and
American manhood. Mr. Lowell maintained to the letter the political
and national views which had long guided his career. His admirable
temper and agreeable manner won the hearts of the people, but no
effort was made to win him away from his allegiance, nor would he have
permitted it had it been tried. In addition to being a great man and a
well-informed statesman, he was a gentleman of culture and refinement.
His gentleness and amiability may have been misconstrued by some, but
be that as it may, the fact remains, he never showed weakness in the
discharge of his diplomatic duties. He represented the United States
in the fullest sense of the term. In 1885, he returned to America, Mr.
E. J. Phelps taking his place, under President Cleveland. Though a
Republican, Mr. Lowell differed from his party on the presidential
candidate question. He favored the election of the Democrat nominee.
Had he been in America during the campaign, he would have been found
with Mr. George William Curtis, and his friends, opposing the return
of Mr. Blaine. From 1885 to the date of his death, he added little to
the volume of his literary work. He spent part of his time in England,
and part in the United States. A poem, a brief paper, or an address or
two, came from his pen, at irregular intervals. He edited a complete
edition of his writings in ten volumes, and left behind him an
unfinished biography of Hawthorne, which he was preparing for the
American Men of Letters Series.



Truth may be considered as a rounded unit. Truths have various and
unequal values, but each has its peculiar place, and if it be missing
or distorted, the loss is not only local but general. Unity is made up
of variety, and therein is completeness. Any honest search after truth
is profitable, for thereby is made manifest the Kingdom of the Real.

During the fifteen years just past, but more especially within the
last third of that period, a widespread interest has been developed in
the question: Can disease be healed through mental treatment? If so,
under what conditions and subject to what limitations? Has mental
healing a philosophical and scientific basis, or is it variously
composed of quackery, superstition, and assumption? In the simplest
terms, how much truth does it contain? Any candid inquirer will admit
that even if a minimum of its claims can be established, the world
needs it. If it can be of service in lessening or mitigating the
appalling aggregation of human suffering, disease, and woe, it should
receive not only recognition, but a cordial welcome.

At the outset, it is proper to state that I have no professional nor
pecuniary interest in any method of healing. The evolution of truth is
my only object. To this end, critical and impartial investigation is
necessary. While a personal experience of great practical benefit
first aroused my interest in the subject, I have cultivated
conservatism and incredulity in forming opinions, which are made up
from a careful investigation of its literature, its philosophy, and
its practical demonstrations.

The first point noticeable is the peculiar attitude of popular
sentiment toward this movement. The unreasonable prejudice which has
been displayed, and the flippant condemnation that it has generally
received in advance of any investigation, illy befit the boasted
impartiality and liberality of the closing decade of the nineteenth
century. When the "Fatherhood of God" and the "Brotherhood of Man"
are so much on men's lips, and when the spirit of altruism is supposed
to be at the floodtide, here is what claims to be the essential
quality of them all denied even a hearing. The testimony of hundreds
of clergymen, philanthropists, Christians, and humanitarians, is
classed as "delusion," and the experience of thousands who have
received demonstrations in their own persons [information of which is
accessible to any candid investigator], is passed by as an idle tale.
It furnishes material for satire to the writer for the religious
weekly, and a prolific butt for jokes to the paragrapher of the daily
journal. The news of its failures is spread broadcast in bold
head-lines by the sensational press. The fact that other kinds of
treatment denominated "regular" also fail, seems never to be thought
of. The mental healer, regardless of his success, is looked upon as an
enthusiast, or worse, and even the citizen who modestly accepts the
theory of possible mind-healing, is regarded as credulous and
visionary by those who pride themselves upon their practicality. Why
does this prejudice exist, when advancement in physical science
uniformly meets with a friendly reception?

Perhaps the most important reason why "there is no room in the inn"
for truth of the higher realm, is the prevailing materialism. Our
western civilization prides itself upon its practicality; but
externality would better define it. We forget that immaterial forces
rule not only the invisible but the visible universe. Things to look
real to us must be cognizant to the physical senses. Matter, whether
in the vegetable, animal, or human organism, is moulded, shaped, and
its quality determined by unseen forces back of and higher than

We rely upon the drug, because we can feel, taste, see, and smell it.
We are color-blind to invisible potency of a higher order, and
practically conclude that it is nonexistent.

One reason for the prevailing adverse prejudice is that this new
thought disturbs the foundation-stones of existing and time-honored
systems and creeds. The literalism and externality of formulated
theology are rebuked by the simplicity of the spiritual and internal
forces which are here brought to light. The barrenness of intellectual
scholasticism is in sharp contrast with the overflowing love and
simple transparency which reveal the image of God in every man, and as
an incidental result, possible health and harmony.

History ever repeats itself in the uniform suspicion with which
advanced thought has been received by existing institutions. It seems
difficult to learn the lesson, that the human apprehension of truth is
ever expanding, while creeds are but "arrested developments, frozen
into fixed forms." As might be inferred, the clergy and the religious
press, as a rule, are distrustful of this advance, and see little that
is good in it. It is fair to admit that this disposition is often due
more to misunderstanding, than to intentional injustice.

Another cause for its unwelcome reception is that it distrusts the
dominant medical systems. All honor to the multitude of noble and
brave men who from the old standpoint have battled with disease, and
who have ever been on the alert to utilize every possible balm, in
order to restore disordered humanity. But systems are tenacious of
life in proportion as they are hoary with age. They mould men to their
own shape; to break with them is difficult: tradition, pride,
professional honor, and loyalty, and often social and pecuniary
status, are all like strong cords, which bind even great men to their
conventional grooves.

A further ground for the general unbelief is found in the
peculiarities of the apostles and exponents of the new departure. A
division into schools and cliques, the out-cropping of personality,
exclusiveness, and internal criticism, statements of doctrine in forms
likely to be misunderstood, and a technical phraseology have, in a
measure, prevented a free and full understanding of principles, which
are really simple and transparent.

Popular distrust is also awakened by the fact that, as a rule, mental
healers have not regularly studied pathology, nor even anatomy. But it
will be seen that if the principle of mental causation for disease is
once admitted, mentality rather than physiology should furnish the
field for operations. In order to heal, the mind of the patient must
be brought into unison with that of the practitioner, and therefore,
the latter must wash his own mind clean of spectres and even of
studies of disease, and fill it to overflowing with ideals of health
and harmony.

Another reason for misapprehension is the fact that mind healing is
not demonstrable by argument. It is not intellectually apprehended. It
concerns the inner man and can only be grasped by the deeper vision of
intuitional and spiritual sense. It is like a cyclorama, the beauty of
which is all inside. An outside view is no view at all.

Is there a necessity for some radical reinforcement to conventional
instrumentalities to aid us in our warfare with human ills? Is it
desirable to find some new vantage ground, and some more effective
weapons? There can be but one answer. While surgery has been making
rapid strides toward the position of an exact science, confidence in
materia medica is on the wane. The surgeon is only a marvellously
skilful mechanic who adjusts the parts, and then the divine,
recuperative forces vitalize and complete his work. He only makes the
figures, while the principle solves the problem. The adaptability of
drugs to heal disease is becoming a matter of doubt, even among many
who have not yet studied deeper causation. Materia medica lacks the
exact elements of a science. The just preponderance for good or ill of
any drug upon the human system is an unsolved problem, and will so
remain. The fact that a fresh remedy seems to work well while it is
much talked about, and then gradually appears to lose its efficacy,
suggests that it is the atmosphere of general belief in the medicine,
and not the medicine itself that accomplishes the visible result. It
is well known that bread pills sometimes prove to be a powerful
cathartic, even from individual belief; but general belief would be
necessary in order to make them always reliable. General beliefs often
have a very slight original basis, but gradually grow until their
cumulative power is enormous. If scientific, the same remedies once
adopted should remain; but instead, there is a continual transition.
Fashions and fads are not significant of exact science. Elixirs of
life, lymphs, and other specifics have their short run, and then join
the endless procession to the rear. Many lives are sacrificed in
experiments, but no criticism is made because the treatment is
administered by those who are within the limits of the "regular"
profession. After centuries of professional research, in order to
perfect the "art of healing," diseases have steadily grown more subtle
and numerous. Combinations, distillations, extracts, and decoctions of
almost every known material substance have been experimented with, in
order to discover their true bearing upon that ever-receding ideal,
the banishment of disease. If materia medica were a science, disease
should be in a process of extermination. It does not look as if this
were expected, for doctors with diplomas are multiplying in a much
greater ratio than the population, and already we have more than three
times the proportionate quota of Germany. As our material civilization
recedes from nature and grows more artificial, diseases, doctors, and
remedies multiply. What can be more beautiful and perfect than the
human eye; yet how commonly this organ requires artificial aid. The
human senses are losing their tone, and if present tendencies
continue, it seems almost as if the future man would be not only bald,
but toothless and eyeless, unless he receives an entire artificial
equipment. Only when internal, divine forces come to be relied upon,
rather than outside reinforcement, will deterioration cease.

Scores of the most eminent physicians, who have risen above the
trammels of system, have vigorously expressed themselves regarding the
utterly unreliable character of the drug system. Emerson affirmed that
"The best part of health is a fine disposition." Said Plato, "You
ought not to attempt to cure the body without the soul." A
distinguished doctor of to-day remarked, "Of the nature of disease,
and from whence it comes, we still know nothing, but thanks to
chemistry we have new supplies of ammunition. For every drug of our
fathers, we have now a hundred. We have iodides, chlorides, and
bromides without number; sulphates, nitrates, hydrochlorates, and
prussiates beyond count. But we do not believe in heroic doses. We
give but little medicine at a time and change it often." With such
supplies of "ammunition," people within range are liable to get hit.

A mere sketch of the rise and progress of the mind-healing movement
may be proper before considering its philosophy. Its novelty having
worn off, it is perhaps less prominent as a current topic than
formerly, but its progress, though quiet, has been remarkable during
the past five years. Careful estimates by those in the best position
to judge place the number of those who accept its leading principles,
in the United States, at over a million. Owing to the distrust of
public opinion, a large majority hold their views quietly but none the
less firmly. But a small fraction of its adherents are identified
with its organizations, and yet within the limits of one school [those
distinctively known as Christian Scientists], there are about thirty
organized churches, and also one hundred and twenty societies which
maintain regular Sunday services, though not yet having church
organization. There are also between forty and fifty dispensaries and
reading rooms, and a rapidly increasing literature, both of standard
works and periodicals. One of the other schools, distinctively known
as Mind Cure, has also a large number of organizations similar in
character. The number of regularly graduated practitioners cannot be
accurately estimated, but they are numbered by the thousand. Of the
million more or less of believers in the principles of mind healing,
it may be admitted that perhaps a large majority, in the event of
severe acute illness, would still make some use of old remedies, or
would combine both where circumstances would allow. Life-long habits
are tenacious; to defy the force of public opinion, the importunity of
friends and the overwhelming aggregation of surrounding belief, is a
trying ordeal. Until public opinion softens, mental healing in its
purity will be mainly employed in chronic troubles, or at least for
those which are not of a sudden and acute nature. Mind healers would
differ in acute cases, as to how far those who have had no previous
growth of trust in unseen forces should be left to those alone. In the
present stage of progress in mind healing, there should be nothing
which would require anyone to dispense with reasonable nursing nor
with common sense. Some things which are ideally and abstractly true,
can only be fully realized in the future, and it is not well to
prematurely use them before the conditions are fully ripened.

All new innovations, no matter how much needed, have had to pass
through a period when "they were everywhere spoken against." The time
is not distant when personal liberty in respect to choice in one's
method of healing may be enjoyed without unpleasant criticism or

The more important schools which agree in the one cardinal principle
of healing through mind, designate their respective systems as
Christian Science, Mind Cure, and Christian Metaphysics. These terms,
in common use, are somewhat interchangeable. There are also those who
combine mind healing with Theosophy, and still others who differ in
non-essentials. What is distinctively known as "Faith Cure" has
little in common with those before named. Its theory is that disease
is healed by special interposition in answer to prayer. None of the
other systems accept anything as special, but believe in the
universality and continuity of orderly law.

There are many leaders, authors, and workers in this movement, who are
eminent; but as principles are more important than personality, their
names need not be enumerated.

Why did this movement originate among women, and why have so large a
proportion of its exponents belonged to the so-called weaker sex?
Because the intuitional and spiritual senses of women are keener than
those of men, and mental healing is not the result of profound
reasoning. It is the seeming "weak things of the world which confound
the strong." Men are largely immersed in intellectual and formulated
systems, and when the time was ripe for new light and attainment in
spiritual evolution to dawn upon humanity, it might have been expected
that its first delicate rays would be detected by woman.

The one great principle which underlies all mind healing is contained
in the assumption that all primary causation relating to the human
organism is mental or spiritual. The mind, which is the real man, is
the cause, and the body the result. The mind is the expressor, and the
body the expression. The inner life forces build the body, and not the
body the life forces. The thought forms the brain, and not the brain
the thought. The physical man is but the printed page, or external
manifestation, of the intrinsic man which is higher and back of him.

Materia medica deals with effects rather than primary causes. It seeks
to modify the expression, which can only be done through the
expressor. It is axiomatic that to change results we deal with causes.
This principle is so widely recognized that it is seen in an endless
variety of phases, even among barbarous and half-civilized races. The
charms and incantations used for healing among Indian tribes have this
significance. With all their barbarism they are near to nature and
keen in locating causation. With nothing more than a superstitious
basis, charms, incantations, dances, images, ceremonies, and shrines
have a wonderful influence for healing. They divert the mind from the
ailment, and stimulate a strong faith which awakens the recuperative
forces to action, and thus cause a rapid recovery.

A traveller in Algiers relates the following conversation he had with
a Moorish woman of high class: "When ill do you go to the doctor?" he
asked. "Oh, no; we go to the Marabout; he writes a few words from the
Koran on a piece of paper, which we chew and swallow, with a little
water from the sacred well at the Mosque. We need no more and soon

If a skilful exercise of baseless superstition upon mind can be so
efficacious, what results are possible by a judicious use of the
truth? Mental causation is abundantly proved by the well-known effects
of fear, anger, envy, anxiety, and other passions and emotions, upon
the physical organism. Acute fear will paralyze the nerve centres, and
sometimes turn the hair white in a single night. A mother's milk can
be poisoned by a fit of anger. An eminent writer, Dr. Tuke, enumerates
as among the direct products of fear, insanity, idiocy, paralysis of
various muscles and organs, profuse perspiration, cholerina, jaundice,
sudden decay of teeth, fatal anæmia, skin diseases, erysipelas, and
eczema. Passion, sinful thought, avarice, envy, jealousy, selfishness,
all press for external bodily expression. Even false philosophies,
false theology, and false conceptions of God make their unwholesome
influence felt in every bodily tissue. By infallible law, mental
states are mirrored upon the body, but because the process is complex
and gradual, we fail to observe the connection. Mind translates itself
into flesh and blood.

What must be the physical result upon humanity of thousands of years
of chronic fearing, sinning, selfishness, anxiety, and unnumbered
other morbid conditions? These are all the time pulling down the cells
and tissues, which only divine, harmonious, and wholesome thought can
build up. Is it surprising that no one is perfectly healthy? If man
were not linked to God, and unconsciously receiving an inflow of
recuperative vital force, the multitudinous destroyers would soon
disintegrate his physical organism. Can the building forces be
strengthened, stimulated, and made more harmonious and divine? Yes,
through mind. The mind surely but unconsciously pervades every
physical tissue with its vital influence, and is present in every
function; throbbing in the heart, breathing in the lungs, and weaving
its own quality into nutrition, assimilation, sensation, and motion.

A conscious fear of any particular disease is not necessary to induce
it. The accumulated strands of the unconscious fear of generations
have been twisted into the warp and woof of our mentality, and we find
ourselves on the plane of reciprocity with disease. Our door is open
to receive it. What is disease? A mental spectre, which to material
vision has terrible proportions. A kingly tyrant, crowned by our own
beliefs. It has exactly that power which our fears, theories, and
acceptances have conferred upon it. It is not an objective entity, but
our sensuous beliefs have galvanized it into life. "As a man thinketh,
so is he." Realism to us may be conferred upon the most absolute
non-entity, if we give it large thought space, and fear it. As a
condition, disease is existent; but not as a God-created entity, in
and of itself. It appears veritable to us, because we have
unconsciously identified the Ego with the body.

The material standpoint is false. We are immaterial; not bodies, but
spirits--even here and now. Having lost spiritual consciousness, we
practically,--though not theoretically,--feel that we are bodies. To
grasp our divine selfhood and steadily hold it, disarms fear and all
its allies, and promotes recuperation and harmony. When the intrinsic
man dethrones the false and sensuous claimant, and asserts his divine
birthright of wholeness [holiness] the body as a correspondence falls
into line and gradually expresses health on its own plane. Normally
and logically, that which is higher should rule the lower. The body,
instead of being the unrelenting despot, then becomes the docile and
useful servant. In its subordinate position, where it rightfully
belongs, it grows beautiful and harmonious. Men live mainly in their
bodily sensations. Such living, though apparently real, is a false
sense of life. There is a profound significance in the scriptural
injunction, "Take no thought for your body." The dyspeptic thinks of
his stomach, and the more he has it in mind the more abnormally
sensitive it becomes. The sound man has no knowledge of such an organ,
except as a matter of theory. The body, when watched, petted, and
idolized, soon assumes the character of a usurper and tyrant.
Retribution is sure and inherent under such conditions.

A change of environment often cures, simply because novelty diverts
thought which before has been centered upon the body. The improvement,
however, is often credited to better climate, water, or air. Human
pride seeks for its causation without rather than within. Secondary
causation is really effect, though not often so diagnosed. The draft
occasions the cold, but it gets its deadly qualities from cumulative
belief and fear. Who has not seen persons in which this bondage and
sensitiveness have become so intense that even a breath of God's pure
air alarms them. In this way a great mass of secondary causation has
been invested with power for evil, and mistaken for that which is
primary. Noting the tremendous power of grown-up accumulations of
false belief, we may glance at the modus operandi of mental healing.

There are two distinct lines of treatment which may effect a cure; one
by intelligent and persistent self-discipline and culture, and the
other through the efforts of another person called a healer. Often
there is a combination of both. The power does not lie in the
personality of the healer, nor in the exercise of his will-power.
Neither hypnotism nor mesmeric control are elements in true
mind-healing. The healer, in reality, is but an interpreter and
teacher. The divine recuperative forces which exist, but are latent,
are awakened and called into action. The patient is like a discordant
instrument containing great capabilities, only waiting to respond in
unison to active harmony. His distorted thought must be elevated and
harmonized, so that he will see things in their true perspective. The
healer gently guides him up into the "mount of transfiguration," where
he feels the glow of the divine image within, and sees that wholeness
is already his, and will be made manifest as he recognizes it. A
successful healer must be an overflowing fountain of love and
good-will. He is but a conduit through which flows the divine
repletion. He makes ideal conditions present. He steadily holds a
mental image of his patient as already whole, and silently appeals to
the unconscious mind of the invalid, to induce him to accept the same
view. The patient's mental background is like a sensitive plate, upon
which will gradually appear outlines of health as they are positively
presented. Improved views of his own condition spring up from within,
and seem to him to be original. As they grow into expression in the
outer man, his cure is complete.

Do failures occur? Undoubtedly, and often. Even infallible principles
can have but imperfect application because of local limitations. The
failure of a particular field of grain does not disprove the universal
principle of vegetable growth. The imperfection of the healer, and the
lack of receptivity in the patient, are local limitations. There are
sudden cures, but as a rule recovery will be in the nature of a
progressive growth. Lack of immediate results often causes
disappointment, and leads to an abandonment of the treatment before
the seed has had time to take root. The healer is the sower, and the
patient's unconscious mind is the soil. Often rubbish must be cleared
away before any fertile spot is found. The cure must come from within.
Sometimes the patient is cherishing some secret sin, or giving place
to trains of thought colored with envy, jealousy, avarice, or
selfishness. These are all positive obstacles to both mental and
physical improvement, for thoughts are real things. The patient must
actively co-operate with the healer, and make himself transparent to
the truth. That which is misshapen has to grow symmetrical. Even if
the mind could be instantly permeated with the belief of health, the
body will need a little time to completely change its expression.
Should these limitations discourage anyone? Not in the least, but
rather the reverse. The fact that the cure is in the nature of a
growth, is evidence that it is normal and permanent, rather than
magical or capricious. Limitations are present, but they can be

The phenomenon of pain, so commonly regarded as an evil, is only a
warning voice to summon our consciousness from its resting-place in
the damp, morgue-like basement of our being, to the higher apartments,
where sunshine and harmony are ever present. It is beneficent when its
message is heeded, for it is thereby transformed into blessing. Our
resistance to it, and misunderstanding of its significance, prevent
that possible transformation. The process of cure through mind, though
in itself a steady growth, often appears to the consciousness of the
patient as vibratory and uneven.

Many could heal themselves without the aid of another, if they
appreciated the tremendous power for good of concentrated mental
delineation of the ideal. By such exercises of mind, a wholesome
environment can be built up, even if at first the process seems almost
mechanical. But instead of such self-building, out of an infinitude of
divine material, the average man is inclined to vacate the control of
his being, put his body into the keeping of his doctor, and his soul
[himself] into the care of his priest or pastor.

Efficiency for self-treatment is increased as the power of abstraction
is cultivated. Hold a firm consciousness of the spiritual self, and of
the fact that the material form is only expression made visible.
Firmly deny the validity of adverse sensuous evidence, and at length
it will disappear. Silently but persistently affirm health, harmony,
and the divine image. Give out good thought, for thoughts are real
gifts. In proportion as you pour out, the divine repletion pours in.
Look upon the physical self as only a false claimant for the Ego. Hold
only the good in your field of vision, and let disease and evil fade
out to their native nothingness, from lack of standing-room. Even a
warfare against evils as objective realities, tends to make them more
realistic. At convenient seasons, bar out the external world, and
rivet the mind tenaciously to the loftiest ideals and aspirations, and
for the time being forget that you possess a body. Oh, victim of
nervous prostration and insomnia, test these principles and see if
they are not superior to anodynes, opiates, bromides, and chorals, and
be assured that they leave no sting behind. The great boon which they
bestow is not limited to nervous and mental disorders; its virtue
penetrates to the outermost physical limits.

The whole atmosphere of race thought in which we live is sensuous.
This vast unconscious influence must be overcome. The mental healer is
like one rowing against the current of a mighty river. Humanity is
"bound in one bundle," and it is with difficulty that a few can
advance much faster than the rythmical step of the mass. Even the
Great Exemplar in some places could not do many mighty works because
of surrounding unbelief.

Man is peering into the dust for new supplies of life, which are
stored around and above him. Is it not time that he should make a
serious effort to throw off the galling yoke of cruel though
intangible masters, and achieve freedom and emancipation?

Turning to the religious aspect of mental healing, it is seen to be in
harmony with revelation, and also with the highest spiritual ideal in
all religions. While rebuking scholastic and dogmatic systems on the
one hand, and pseudo-scientific materialism on the other, it vitalizes
and makes practical the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. The
healing of to-day is the same in kind, though not equal in degree to
that of the primitive church. It is in accord with spiritual law,
which is ever uniformly the same under like conditions. The miracles
of the Apostolic Age were real as transactions, but their miraculous
hue was in the materialistic vision of the observers. Healing is the
outward and practical attestation of the power and genuineness of
spiritual religion, and ought not to have dropped out of the Church.
The divine commission to preach the gospel and heal the sick, never
rightly could have been severed in twain, because they are only
different sides of one Whole. By what authority is one part declared
binding through ages and the other ignored? Who will assert that God
is changeable, so that any divinely bestowed boon to one age could be
withdrawn from a subsequent one? The direct assurance of the Christ,
that "these signs shall follow them that believe," is perpetual in its
scope, because "them that believe" are limited to no age, race, or
condition. As ecclesiasticism and materialism crept into the early
church, and personal ambitions and worldly policies sapped its
vitality, spiritual transparency and brotherly love faded out, and
with them went the power--or rather the recognition of the power--to

Wonderful works are not limited alone to those who accept the
Christian religion; but in proportion as other systems recognize the
supremacy of the spiritual element, and catch even a partial glow of
"that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,"
their intrinsic qualities will be made outwardly manifest. A right
conception of God, as infinite present Good, strongly aids in
producing the expression of health. "In Him we live, and move, and
have our being." An abiding concept of such truth directly promotes
trust, harmony, healing. Seeming ills are not God-created powers, but
human perversions and reflected images of subjective states. As a
higher and spiritual standpoint is gained, apparent evils dissolve,
and then in bold relief is seen the fair proportions of the Kingdom of
the Real.

[Illustration: MR. AND MRS. JAS. A. HERNE.]



In May last, in a small hall in Boston, on a stage of planking, hung
with drapery, was produced one of the most radical plays from a native
author ever performed in America. Mr. and Mrs. James A. Herne, unable
to obtain a hearing in the theatres for their play, which had been
endorsed by some of the best known literary men of the day, were
forced to hire a hall, and produce _Margaret Fleming_ bare of all
mechanical illusion, and shorn of all its scenic and atmospheric
effects. Everybody, even their friends, prophesied disaster. In such
surroundings failure seemed certain. But a few who knew the play and
its authors better, felt confident that there was a public for them.
It was a notable event, and the fame of _Margaret Fleming_ is still on
its travels across the dramatic world.

There were two reasons for this result, the magnificent art of Mrs.
Herne, which "created illusion by its utter simplicity and absolute
truth to life," and second, because the play was, in fact, as one
critic said, "an epoch-marking play." It could afford to dispense with
canvas, bunch-lights, machinery, as it dispensed with conventional
plot and epithet, and as its actors discarded declamation and mere

The phenomenal success of Mr. and Mrs. Herne brought them prominently
before the literary public. Interest became very strong in them as
persons as well as artists, and from an intimate personal acquaintance
with them both, I have been asked to give this brief sketch of their
work previous to _Margaret Fleming_, for epoch-marking as it was, it
was only a logical latest outcome of the work the Hernes have been
doing for the last ten years.

Mr. Herne is a man of large experience, having been on the stage for
thirty years. He has been through all the legitimate lines. He has
been a member of a stock company, manager of theatres, and author and
manager of several plays of his own, previous to the writing of
_Margaret_ _Fleming_. His first real attempt at writing was _Hearts
of Oak_. The home scenes, and notably the famous dinner scene, which
became such a feature, showed the direction of his power. This play,
produced about twelve years ago with Mrs. Herne as "Crystal," was
their first attempt to handle humble American life, and was very

Mr. Herne's next venture was an ambitious one. It was the writing of a
play based upon the American Revolution. In the spring of '86 he
produced at the Boston Theatre _The Minute Men_, where it was received
with immense enthusiasm. It was somewhat conventional in plot, but in
all its scenes of home life was true and fine. The central figures
were Reuben (a backwoodsman), and Dorothy, his adopted daughter.
Whatever concerned these two characters was keyed to the note of life.
Like all Mr. Herne's acting, Reuben was utterly unconscious of
himself. He went about as a backwoodsman naturally does, without
posturing or swagger. With the sweetness and quaintness of Sam Lawson,
he had the comfortable aspect of a well-fed Pennsylvania Quaker.

Mrs. Herne's Dorothy was a fitting companion piece, faultlessly true,
and sweet, and natural. Her spontaneous laugh is as infectiously
gleeful as Joe Jefferson's chuckle. Those who have never seen her in
this part can hardly realize how fine a comedienne she really is.

Mr. Herne's next play was simpler, stronger, and better, though less
picturesque. _Drifting Apart_ was based upon the commonest of life's
tragedies--the home of a drunkard. It is the most effective of
sermons, without one word of preaching. The drifting apart of husband
and wife through the husband's "failin'" is set forth with unexampled
concreteness, and yet there is no introduction of horror. We
understand it all by the sufferings of the wife, with whom we
alternately hope and despair. I copy here what I wrote of it at the
time when I knew neither Mr. and Mrs. Herne, nor any other of their

     The second act in this play for tenderness and truth has not been
     surpassed in any American play. A daring thing exquisitely done
     was that holiest of confidences between husband and wife. The
     vast audience sat hushed as death before that touching, almost
     sacred scene, as they do when sitting before some great tragedy.

     What does this mean, if not that our dramatists have been too
     distrustful of the public? They have gone round the earth in
     search of material for plays, not knowing that the most moving
     of all life is that which lies closest at hand, after all.

Mrs. Herne's acting of Mary Miller was my first realization of the
compelling power of truth. It was so utterly opposed to the "tragedy
of the legitimate." Here was tragedy that appalled and fascinated like
the great fact of living. No noise, no contortions of face or limbs,
yet somehow I was made to feel the dumb, inarticulate, interior agony
of a mother. Never before had such acting faced me across the
footlights. The fourth act was like one of Millet's paintings, with
that mysterious quality of reserve--the quality of life again.

In this play, as in _Hearts of Oak_, there was no villain and no plot.
The scene was laid in a fishing village near Gloucester. I can do no
better than to give you a taste of the quaint second act.

It is Christmas eve and Jack and Mary have been married a year. Jack
is preparing to go out. Mary is secretly disturbed over his going but
hides it. "Mother" sits by the fire knitting. Mary is sewing by the

     _Jack._ Say, Mary! D'you know, I can shave myself better'n any
     barber thet ever honed a razor?

     _Mary._ I always told you you could, Jack, if you'd only try.

     _Jack._ Feel my face now--ain't it as smooth as any baby's?

     _Mary._ (_Feeling his face._) Yes, Jack, as smooth as any _old_

     _Jack._ Oh! say, look here now, thet ain't fair; a feller don't
     know nothin' till he's forty, does he, mother? Old baby's!
     (_sitting on the arm of Mary's chair_) I ain't too old to love
     you, Mary, that's one thing. I've loved you ever since you was
     knee-high to a grasshopper. I rocked you in y'r cradle--I'm
     blessed if I didn't make the cradle you was rocked in, didn't I,

     _Mother._ Yes, Jack, an' d'ye remember what yeh made it out of?

     _Jack._ A herrin' box. (_General laugh._)

     _Mary._ (_Tenderly._) I married the man I love, Jack.

     _Jack._ Honest?

     _Mary._ Honest.

     _Jack._ (_Kissing her._) Then what'n thunder you want to talk
     about a feller's gettin' old for? Where's my clean shirt? Say,
     mother, don't you t' hang up them stockin's.

     _Mary._ Oh! Jack, what nonsense.

     _Jack._ No nonsense at all about it. Christmas is Christmas. It
     only comes once a year an' I'm goin' to have th' stockin's hung
     up. So for fear you'd forgit 'em I'll hang 'em up myself.

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     _Mary._ Please, Jack, give me those stockings.

     _Jack._ Now it ain't no use, little woman. Them stockin's is
     a-goin' up. Mother, you give me three pins.

     _Mary._ Don't you give him _any_ pins, mother. Suppose the
     neighbors should come in and see those stockings hangin' up.

     _Jack._ Let 'em come in, I don't care a continental cuss. Why,
     Mary, everybody wears stockin's nowadays, everybody that can
     afford to. I _want_ the neighbors to see 'em, then they'll know
     we've got stockin's. (_Holding up the three stockings._) Got one
     apiece anyhow.

     _Mother._ Oh, Jack, Jack! you'll never be anything but a great
     overgrown boy, if you live to be a hundred (_goes off_).

     _Mary._ (_Tenderly._) Jack!

     _Jack._ Hey?

     _Mary._ (_Putting her arms about his neck._) Did you never think
     that perhaps next Christmas there might be another stocking, just
     a tiny one, to hang in the chimney corner?

     _Jack._ Why, Mary, there's tears in your eyes. (_Goes to wipe her
     eyes with the work she has in her hands; it is a baby's dress._)
     Bless my soul! What's this, Mary?

     _Mary._ (_Falteringly._) Do you remember Bella and John in "Our
     Mutual Friend" that I read to you?

     _Jack._ Yes. Warn't they glorious?

     _Mary._ Well, these are sails, Jack, sails for the little ship
     that's coming across the water for you and me.

[Illustration: Mr. Herne as Reuben Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See
page 544.]

I quote a few lines from another scene.

     Christmas morning. Hester and Silas, some young friends, have
     come in to take breakfast. All are seated at the table with much
     bustle and laughter. Lish Mead, Mary's foster father, pokes his
     head in the door.

     _Lish Mead._ Wish you Merry Christmas.

     _All._ (_Hilariously._) Merry Christmas! Come in.

     _Lish._ Can't less some on ye hol's th' door open.

     _Silas._ I'll hold it, Lish. (_Lish enters, hauling a warehouse
     truck on which is a barrel of flour and a large hamper._)

     _Lish._ Mister Seward wanted I should hand ye these with his

     _Mary._ Oh, how kind of Mr. Seward, and how good of you to bring

     _Jack._ Set down here, Lish, and have a bite o' breakfast.

     _Lish._ (_Taking off mittens, cap, comforter, etc._) Whatcher
     got? Chicking? Waal, that's good 'nough. (_Seats himself at
     table._) Say, Jack, d' you know, you left a goose a-layin' on Jim
     Adamses bar las' night? I was goin' to fetch it along but Jim
     said you gin it to him, swore you made him a present on it.

     _Mother._ Jack Hepburn, did you give that goose--

     _Mary._ (_Interrupting her._) Have a cup of coffee, mother.

     _Lish._ Jack, have you got the time o' day? (_Chuckles._) Here's
     y'r new Waterbury. The boys wanted I should fetch her 'round; ye
     went off las' night without her.

     _Jack._ Ye can take her back again; I don't want her.

     _Mary._ O Jack!

     _Jack._ No, Mary, I don't. I wish the durned ol' Waterbury 'd
     never been born.

     _Mary._ The boys meant well, Jack; I wouldn't send back their

     _Jack._ All right, Mary, if you say so, I'll take her. There's
     one thing sure, every time I wind her up she'll put me in mind
     how durn near I come to losin' the best little wife in the whole

This play brought me to know Mr. and Mrs. Herne. It needed but an
hour's talk to convince me that I had met two of the most intellectual
artists in the dramatic profession, and also to learn how great were
the obstacles which lay in the way of producing a real play, each year
adding to the insuperableness of the barriers. Mr. Herne was at that
time (two years ago) working upon a new play, in some respects,
notably in its theme, finer than _Drifting Apart_. It was the result
of several summers spent on the coast of Maine, and is called
_Shore-Acres_. The story is mainly that of two brothers, Nathaniel and
Martin Berry, who own a fine "shore-acre" tract near a booming summer
resort. An enterprising grocer in the little village gets Martin
interested in booms and suggests that they form a company and cut the
shore-acre tract up into lots and sell to summer residents.

Martin comes with the scheme to Nathaniel.

     _Martin._ I'd like t' talk to yeh, an' I d' know's I'll hev a
     better chance.

     _Uncle Nat._ I d' know's yeh will.

     _Martin._ (_Hesitates, picks up a stick and whittles._) Mr.
     Blake's ben here.

     _Uncle Nat._ (_Picks up a straw and chews it._) Hez 'e?

[Illustration: Mrs. Herne as Dorothy Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See
page 544.]

     _Martin._ Yes. He 'lows thet we'd ought to cut the farm up inter
     buildin' lots.

     _Uncle Nat._ Dooze 'e?

     _Martin._ Yes. He says there's a boom a-comin' here, an' thet the
     lan's too valu'ble to work.

     _Uncle Nat._ I want t' know 'f he dooze. Where d's he talk o'

     _Martin._ Out there at the nothe eend o' the shore pint?

     _Uncle Nat._ Yeh don't mean up yander? (_Pointing with his thumb
     over his shoulder._)

     _Martin._ (_Slowly._) Y-e-s.

     _Uncle Nat._ Dooze 'e calkalate t' take in the knoll thet looks
     out t' Al'gator Reef?

     _Martin._ I reck'n he dooze.

     _Uncle Nat._ Did yeh tell him thet mother's berried there?

     _Martin._ He knows thet 's well 's you do. (_Sulkily._)

     _Uncle Nat._ What's he calkalate t' do with mother?

     _Martin._ He advises puttin' her in a cimitry up to Bangor.

     _Uncle Nat._ She'd never sleep comfort'ble in no cimitry, mother

     _Martin._ He says thet's the choice lot o' the hull pass'll.

     _Uncle Nat._ Then who's got so good a right to it as mother hez?
     It was all her'n once. Thet's the only piece she ast t' keep. Yeh
     don't begrutch it to her, do yeh, Martin?

     _Martin._ I don't begrutch her nothin', only he says folks hain't
     a-goin' to pay fancy prices 'thout they hev ther pick.

     _Uncle Nat._ D'ye think any fancy price hed ought to buy mother's

[Illustration: Mrs. Herne as Mary Miller. "Here was tragedy that
appalled and fascinated like the great fact of living." "Drifting
Apart." Act IV. See page 545.]

     _Martin._ Yeh seem to kinder shameface me fer thinkin' o' partin'
     with it.

     _Uncle Nat._ Didn't mean to. Law sakes! who'm I thet I should set
     my face agin improvemints, I'd like t' know? Go ahead, an' sell,
     'n build, an' git rich, an' move t' Bangor, unly don't sell thet!
     Leave me jes' thet leetle patch, an' I'll stay an' take keer th'
     light, keep the grass cut over yander, an' sort o' watch eout fer
     things gin'rally....

     _Ann._ Sakes alive! Martin Berry, bean't you a-comin' to your
     dinner t'day? Come, Nathan'l, y'r dinner'll be stun cold. I say
     yer dinner'll be stun cold. 'T won't be fit f'r a hawg t'eat.

     _Little Mildred. (Going to Nat, looks up into his face._) He's
     cryin', momma.

This estrangement, and the results that flow from it, form the simple
basis of _Shore-Acres_, a play full of character studies, and
permeated by that peculiar flavor of sea and farm, which the New
England coast abounds with. The theme is the best and truest of all
Mr. Herne's plays of humble life.

Mr. and Mrs. Herne have lived for twelve years in Ashmont, a suburb of
Boston. They have a comfortable and tasteful home, with three
children, Julie, Crystal, and Dorothy [aged ten, eight, and five], to
give them welcome when they come back from their seasons on the road.
Mr. Herne is very domestic and lives a very simple and quiet life. And
he enjoys his pretty home as only a man can whose life is spent so
largely in fatiguing travel. He is fond of the fields which lie near
his home, and very many are the long walks we have taken together. He
is very fond of wild flowers, especially daisies and clover blossoms,
and in their season is never without a bunch of them upon his desk.
Books are all about him. He writes at a flat-top desk in the room he
calls his, but his terrific orders to be left alone are calmly ignored
by the three children who invade this "study," and throw themselves
upon him at the slightest provocation. He is much tyrannized over by
Dorothy, whose dolls he is forced to mend, no matter what other
apparently important work is going forward.

[Illustration: Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act II. See
page 545.]

Mrs. Herne is a woman of extraordinary powers, both of acquired
knowledge and natural insight, and her suggestions and criticisms have
been of the greatest value to her husband in his writing, and she had
large part in the inception as well as in the production of _Margaret
Fleming_. Her knowledge of life and books, like that of her husband,
is self-acquired, but I have met few people in any walk of life with
the same wide and thorough range of thought. In their home oft-quoted
volumes of Spencer, Darwin, Fiske, Carlyle, Ibsen, Valdes, Howells,
give evidence that they not only keep abreast but ahead of the current
thought of the day. Spencer is their philosopher, and Howells is their
novelist, but Dickens and Scott have large space on their shelves. All
this does not prevent Mr. Herne from being an incorrigible joker, and
a wonderfully funny story-teller. All dialects come instantly and
surely to his tongue. The sources of his power as a dramatist are
evident in his keen observation and retentive memory. Mrs. Herne's
poet is Sidney Lanier, and she knows his principal poems by heart.
"Sunrise" is her especial delight. But to see her radiant with
intellectual enthusiasm, one has but to start a discussion of the
nebular hypothesis, or to touch upon the atomic theory, or doubt the
inconceivability of matter. She is perfectly oblivious to space and
time if she can get someone to discuss Flammarion's supersensuous
world of force, Mr. George's theory of land-holding, or Spencer's law
of progress.

[Illustration: Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act III. See
page 545.]

Her enthusiasms bear fruit not only in her own phenomenal
development, but in her power over others, both as an artist and
friend. Wherever she goes she carries the magnetic influence of one
who lives and thinks on high planes. Her earnestness is tremendous.

They are both individualists in the sense of being for the highest and
purest type of man, and the elimination of governmental control.
"Truth, Liberty, and Justice," form the motto over their door. Mr.
Herne has won great distinction as a powerful and ready advocate of
the single tax theory, and they are both personal valued friends of
Mr. George. It is Ibsen's individualism as well as his truth that
appeals so strongly to both Mr. and Mrs. Herne. They are in deadly
earnest like Ibsen, and _Margaret Fleming_ sprang directly from their
radicalism on the woman question. The home of these extraordinary
people is a charged battery radiating the most advanced thought. As
one friend said: "No one ever leaves this house as he came. We all go
away with something new and vital to think about."

I give these personal impressions in order that those who saw them in
_Margaret Fleming_ may know that its power was certainly a reflection
of the high thought and purity of moral conviction and life which Mr.
and Mrs. Herne brought to its production and its performance. It
voices their love of truth in art, and freedom in life, and
specifically their position on the woman question.

The story of _Margaret Fleming_ is briefly:--

Philip Fleming is a fairly successful business man in a town near
Boston. He has a devoted wife, a child just reaching its first year's
birthday. The first scene develops the situation by a conversation
between Fleming and his family physician. Fleming offers a cigar which
Dr. Larkin refuses.

     _Philip._ You used to respect my cigars. (_Laughing._)

     _Doctor._ I used to respect you....

     _Philip._ Why not, for heaven's sake?

     _Doctor._ Because you've no more moral nature than Joe Fletcher

     _Philip._ Oh! come now, Doctor, that's rather--

     _Doctor._ (_Looking sternly at him._) At two o'clock last night,
     Lena Schmidt gave birth to a child.

     _Philip._ (_His eyes meet those of the Doctor, then drop to the
     floor._) How in God's name did they come to send for you?

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     _Doctor._ I don't believe she'll ever leave that bed alive.

     _Philip._ Well, I've done all I can to--

     _Doctor._ Yeh have, eh?

     _Philip._ She's had all the money she needed.... If she'd a' done
     as I wanted her to, this never'd a' happened. I tried to get her
     away six months ago, but she wouldn't go. She was as obstinate as
     a mule.

     _Doctor._ Strange that she should want to be near you, aint it?
     If she'd got tired of you and wanted to go, you wouldn't have let

     _Philip._ (_With a sickly smile._) You must think I'm--

     _Doctor._ I don't think anything about it. I _know_ just what
     such animals as you are.

     _Philip._ Why, I haven't seen her for a--

     _Doctor._ Haven' t yeh! well, then, suppose you go and see her

     _Philip._ (_Alarmed._) No, I won't. I can't do that!

     _Doctor._ You will do just that.

     _Philip._ (_Showing temper._) I won't go near her.

     _Doctor._ (_Quietly._) Yes, you will. She sha'n't lie there and
     die like a dog.

     _Philip._ You wouldn't dare--to tell--

     _Doctor._ I want you to go and see this girl! (_They face each
     other._) Will yeh or won't yeh?

     _Philip._ (_After a pause subdued._) What d' ye want me to say to


Fleming had been unfaithful to his wife at the time when he should
have been most devoted. The next two scenes show us Margaret in her
lovely home with the baby crowing about her. Fleming, with the easy
shift of such natures, has thrown off his depression, and is in good
spirits the following morning. Dr. Larkin calls to warn Fleming that
he had better take Margaret away at once. She has trouble with her
eyes which a nervous shock might intensify. He promises to do so, but
the act closes with Margaret's departure to visit Lena Schmidt, who
has sent for her. The third act takes place in Mrs. Burton's cottage,
where the girl is dying. Dr. Larkin enters, finds Mrs. Burton holding
the babe in her arms. I quote the conversation as a fine example of
its truth and suggestion.

[Illustration: Mr. Herne as Joe Fletcher in "Margaret Fleming." Act I.
"Can't I sell ye a bath sponge?" See page 553.]

     _Mrs. Burton._ O Doctor! I didn't hear ye knawk. Did I keep y'

     _Doctor._ No. How're the sick folks?

     _Mrs. Burton._ Haven't y' seen Dr. Taylor! Didn't he tell yeh?

     _Doctor._ Haven't seen him. I suppose you mean--

     _Mrs. Burton._ Yes.

     _Doctor._ Humph! When'd she die?

     _Mrs. B._ 'Bout half an hour ago.

     _Doctor._ I had two calls on my way here. When did the change

     _Mrs. B._ Ther' wa'n't no change t' speak 'f. About two hours
     ago, she et a nice cup o' grule, and asked me to fix the pillers
     so's her head 'd be higher. I done it. Then she asked f'r a
     pensul 'n paper, an' she writ f'r quite some time. After that she
     shet her eyes an' I thought she was asleep. She never moved till
     the Doctor come, then she opened her eyes 'n smiled at him. He
     asked how she felt, an' she gave a l-o-n-g sigh--an' that was all
     there was to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Mrs Herne as Margaret Fleming. Act II. See page 554.]

Margaret comes in and Dr. Larkin, horrified, tries in vain to get her
to return. Maria, the dead girl's sister, comes out of the bedroom,
with a letter in her hand, and with barbaric ferocity turns upon
Margaret. A scene of great dramatic power follows, and under the
stress of her suffering, Margaret goes blind. It all ends in the
flight of Fleming, and the destruction of their home. Several years
later a chain of events brings wife and husband together in the office
of the Boston Inspector of Police. Joe Fletcher, a street pedler, and
husband of Maria, the sister of Lena Schmidt, was the means of
bringing them together again. Fleming runs across Joe on the Common,
and Joe takes him to see Maria. Margaret has found Maria and her
child, which Maria had taken. Philip's altercation with Maria brings
them into the police office. After explanations, the inspector turns
to the husband and wife, and voicing conventional morality, advises
them to patch it up. "When you want me, ring that bell," he says, and
leaves them alone. There is a hush of suspense, and then Fleming,
seeing the work he had wrought in the blind face before him, speaks.

     _Philip._ Margaret!

     _Margaret._ Well!

     _Philip._ This is terrible

     _Marg._ You heard the inspector. He calls it a "common case."

     _Philip._ Yes. I was wondering whether he meant that or only said

     _Marg._ I guess he meant it, Philip. We'll be crowded out of his
     thoughts before he goes to bed to-night.

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     _Marg._ Ah, well, it's done now, and--

     _Philip._ Yes, it's done. For four years I've been like an
     escaped prisoner that wanted to give himself up and dreaded the
     punishment. I'm captured at last, and without hope or fear,--I
     _was_ going to say without shame,--I ask you, my judge, to
     pronounce my sentence.

     _Marg._ That's a terrible thing to ask me to do, Philip.... (_She

     _Philip._ Of course you'll get a divorce?

     _Marg._ Don't let us have any more ceremonies, Philip.... I gave
     myself to you when you asked me to. We were married in my
     mother's little home. Do you remember what a bright, beautiful
     morning it was?

     _Philip._ Yes.

     _Marg._ That was seven years ago. To-day we're _here!_...

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     I _am_ calm. My eyes have simply been turned in upon myself for
     four years. I see clearer than I used to.

     _Philip._ Suppose I could come to you some day and say, Margaret,
     I'm now an honest man. Would you live with me again?

     _Marg._ The wife-heart has gone out of me, Philip.

     _Philip._ I'll wait, Margaret. Perhaps it may come back again.
     Who knows?

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     _Philip._ Is it degrading to forgive?

     _Marg._ No; but it is to condone. Suppose _I_ had broken faith
     with you?

     _Philip._ Ah, Margaret!

     _Marg._ I know! But suppose I had? Why should a wife bear the
     whole stigma of infidelity? Isn't it just as revolting in a

     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .   .

     Then can't you see that it is simply impossible for me to live
     with you again? _Philip._ That's my sentence.... We'll be

     _Marg._ Yes, friends. We'll respect each other as friends. We
     never could as man and wife.

     As they clasp hands, something latent, organic rushes over her.
     She masters it, puts his hand aside: "Ring that bell!"

[Illustration: Mr. Herne and his daughter Dorothy as Joe and little
Lena on the Common. See page 557.]

Played as Mrs. Herne plays it, this act is the supreme climax toward
which the action moves from the first. It is her knowledge of its
significance, her belief in its justice, and her faith in its
beneficence that makes her reading so intellectually powerful and
penetrating. She seems to be all of the woman, and something of the
seer, as she stands there as Margaret whose blindness has somehow
given her inward light, and conviction, and strength. She seemed to be
speaking for all womankind, whose sorrowful history we are only just
beginning to read truthfully. It is no wonder that Mrs. Herne appealed
with such power to the thinking women of Boston. Never before has
their case been so stated in America.

One of the most noticeable and gratifying results of Mr. and Mrs.
Herne's performance was the forced abandonment by the critics of
conventional standards of criticism. Every thoughtful word, even by
those most severe, was made from the realist's standpoint. It forced a
comparison with life and that was a distinct gain.

[Illustration: Margaret. Act V. "It is simply impossible for me to
live with you again.... Ring that bell." See page 557.]

The critics got at last the point of view of those who praise an
imperfect play simply for its honesty of purpose, and its tendency.
My own criticism of _Margaret Fleming_ is that it lacks the simplicity
of life. It has too much of plot. Things converge too much, and here
and there things happen. Measured by the standard of truth it fails at
two or three points in its construction, though its treatment is
markedly direct and honest. Measured by any play on the American
stage, it stands above them all in purpose, in execution, in power,
and is worthy to stand for the new drama. It was exposed to the
severest test, and came out of it triumphantly. What the effect will
be upon the American drama, it would be hard to say. Certainly whether
great or small, that influence will be toward progress, an influence
that is altogether good.

Already it has precipitated the discussion of an independent American
theatre, where plays of advanced thought and native atmosphere can be
produced. It has given courage to many who (being in the minority) had
given up the idea of ever having a play after their ideal. It has
cleared the air and showed the way out of the _cul de sac_ into which
monopoly seemed to have driven plays and players. It demonstrated that
a small theatre makes the production of literary plays possible, and
the whole field is opening to the American dramatist. The fact that
the lovers of truth and art are in the minority, no longer cuts a
figure. The small theatre makes a theatre for the minority not only
possible, but inevitable.

In the immediate advance in truth, both in acting and play-writing,
Mr. and Mrs. Herne are likely to have large part. The work which they
have already done entitles them not only to respect, but to gratitude.
They have been working for many years to discredit effectism in
acting, and to bring truth into the American drama. They have set a
high mark, as all will testify who saw the work in Chickering Hall.
Now let who can, go higher.



Last autumn the third French republic completed the second decade of
its checkered existence, and has thus proved itself to be the most
long-lived government which France has known since the advent of the
great Revolution a century ago. No previous government has been able
to stand eighteen years, so that the present republic has outstripped
all its predecessors, whether republican, imperial, or monarchical,
leaving even the most fortunate of them two or three years behind, and
bidding fair to increase the distance indefinitely. Its longevity has
been greater than the first and second republics taken together, which
covered a period of a little over sixteen years; while if we combine
the existence of all three republics, equal to about thirty-six years,
we again find that no other regime has shown such prolonged
vitality,--the two empires having lived for only twenty-eight years,
and the two monarchies for about thirty-three and a half years.

But the early years of the third republic--from 1870 to 1879--like the
declining period of the first and second republics, were more
monarchical than republican. And again, there are so many weakening
influences in the present institutions of France, that the decisive
conclusions which might otherwise be drawn from the foregoing
considerations need, I regret to say, to be considerably qualified.
Previous to the election to the presidency of M. Grévy, in 1879, the
government was happily styled "a republic without republicans." But
since that date the same party--the republican--has had supreme
control. Practically, therefore, the third republic has been in
operation about twelve years, and has, therefore, still to pass that
dangerous turning-point in the history of French governments, the
twentieth year.

I now come to the consideration of some of the more serious causes of
lack of faith in the duration of the present regime. But it should be
pointed out right here at the start that many of these blemishes, most
all of them in fact, have characterized every government in France, so
that they are not peculiarly republican; and I hasten to add that my
object in pointing them out, in analyzing them and dwelling on them,
is not for the purpose of belittling or ridiculing the estimable
government now controlling the destinies of France. As an American and
a republican who has observed contemporary French history on the spot
since 1874, who has been an eye witness of many of the crucial
episodes of this critical period, who has known personally several of
the leading actors and who wishes well for the present institutions, I
take up this subject not so much in order to find fault with what is,
as to endeavor to discover how far these imperfections and weaknesses
endanger the existence of a form of government in which all Americans
take such a lively and sincere interest. Nowhere else in the civilized
world, not even in France itself, would the fall of the third republic
cause such deep regret as in the United States. Hence it is that we
desire to know what likelihood there is of such a disaster being
brought about, in the hope that by calling attention to the dangers,
we may, perhaps, do something to prevent such a lamentable

The greatest peril that has threatened the republic since its
foundation in 1870, was the recent Boulanger adventure. Though this
rather addle-brained general is now quite dead politically, the causes
which gave him strength and nearly plunged France once more into a
chaos whence would probably have issued a tyranny of some sort, still
exist and are continually on the point of cropping out again. The
principal one of them is the lack of union among republicans. Just as
the republic owed its final triumph to the circumstance that the
royalists and imperialists could not coalesce during the years
immediately following 1870, so Boulanger, backed by these same
royalists and imperialists, nearly won the day two years ago, almost
wholly because the republicans were divided among themselves. Union
among republicans is scarcely less necessary to-day than it was during
the dark days of Marshal MacMahon's presidency and the threatened
Boulangist _coup d'etat_.

Since the republicans have had control of the two houses, the
minority, especially in the chamber of deputies, has been very strong,
the Right to-day numbering about one hundred and seventy deputies, and
the Boulangists about thirty more, making a grand total of two hundred
in a membership of less than six hundred. That is to say, the
Opposition, mustering more than a third of the chamber. And when it is
borne in mind that this minority is not simply a constitutional
Opposition, that its advent to power would mean the eventual overthrow
of the republic, we perceive how radically different such an
Opposition is from that found in the parliament of other countries,
where whether the outs come in or the ins go out, no vital change
occurs in the nature of the government.

The existence of this recklessly revolutionary minority and the
fickleness of republican union are the chief causes of ministerial
instability, one of the worst features of the present regime. The
ministry has changed so often during the last twenty years, that many
republicans have been led to doubt the advantages of the English
parliamentary system, and have turned their eyes toward its
modification in the United States, where the existence of the Cabinet
is independent of a vote of the House. It was this admiration of the
American system which led M. Naquet and M. Andrieux--once prominent
republican deputies, and the former still a member of the Chamber--to
espouse Boulangism, and the general obtained not a little of his
popular strength from his oft-repeated assertion that he would put an
end to ministerial instability. That this evil is not exaggerated,
though the proposed remedy would probably have been worse than the
disease, is shown by the most casual glance at French cabinet history
since the fall of the second empire.

Since September 4, 1870, up to the present day, there have been no
less than twenty-eight different ministries, which makes, on an
average, a new ministry about every nine months. There were three
ministries in each of the years 1873 and 1877, while in 1876, 1879,
1882, 1883, 1886, and 1887, there were two each. The longest ministry
was the second, presided over by M. Jules Ferry, which lasted from
February 21, 1883, to April 6, 1885, or a few weeks over two years.
Gambetta's famous ministry--called in derision "_le grand
ministère_"--lasted two months and a half. M. de Freycinet, the
present prime minister, has been in power four times since 1879, the
first time for nine months, the second for six months, the third for
eleven months, and the fourth since March of last year. Among the
shortest ministries were those of M. Dufaure, from May 18 to May 25,
1873; General de Rochebouet, from November 23 to December 13, 1877,
and M. Fallières from January 29 to February 21, 1883.

The persistency with which the reactionists refuse to recognize the
legal government of France, is another source of weakness in the
present institutions. When M. Carnot gives a reception at the Elysée
Palace you never see a deputy or a Senator of the Right advancing to
salute the president and his wife, and when he offers a grand state
dinner to parliament, he does not invite members outside of the
republican party because he would run the risk of receiving a curt
regret.[1] What is true of M. Carnot and the Elysée holds good also
for all the ministers and other high functionaries: they are left
severely alone by Monarchists and Bonapartists alike.

      [1] There is a slight modification to be made in this statement.
          When the Bureaux of the two Chambers are invited either by
          the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate,
          or the President of the Chamber, no distinction is made in
          regard to politics, and on these occasions the members of the
          Right condescend to break bread with the republicans. I
          should explain that the Bureaux are composed of a president,
          four vice-presidents, and eight secretaries, chosen each
          session by the senators and deputies. Two of the
          secretaryships are given by courtesy to the Right.

This sulking in the tent on the part of the reactionists has in it
something worse than their simple absence from all official social
ceremonies. The talents, experience, and patriotism of this _élite_
are almost wholly lost to the country, and to the government. From the
ministries, the judiciary, the foreign embassies, the prefectures, and
the rectorships of the universities, they are necessarily excluded.
The ancient nobility of the old regime with its wealth and traditions,
and the younger nobility of the first and second empires; the blue
blood _bourgeoisée_, especially of the provinces, and the aristocratic
ladies of all classes, turn their backs, almost without exception, on
the new order of things, and sigh for court and king or emperor.

In the provinces this detestation of the republic sometimes becomes
ludicrous. In Montpelier, for instance, "polite circles" absolutely
boycott the republican official world. The prefect has a palatial
residence but does not dare to throw open his _salons_, for none of
"the first families" would respond to his invitation. When the mayor
of the city, before whom all marriages must be performed, is invited
to the reception at the house, none of the reactionary _coterie_ will
have a word with him and none of their young men will dance with his
daughter. I have heard similar stories from Pan, Castres, and Albi,
and doubtless the same thing is true of many other cities. But
royalists and Bonapartists would not feel too much out of place in the
French republic, for it is astonishing, at least to an American, to
see how many monarchical customs have been preserved by the present
government. And this brings me to the consideration of a new source of
weakness of the republic. I refer to its unrepublican features. A few
examples will explain what I mean.

The "military household" is one of the imperial institutions which the
third republic accepted and continued. The first president, however,
did not revive it. "M. Thiers never had a military household," M.
Barthélémy Saint Hilaire, his private secretary and _fidus achates_
writes me; "however, in order to honor the army, he had two
orderlies." But when Marshal MacMahon became president in 1873, it was
only natural that he should surround himself with soldiers. At first
the "Cabinet of the Presidency" consisted of three officials, one of
them being a colonel. In 1875 this cabinet had grown to five members,
two of them colonels, and one an artillery officer. In 1879 the
"Cabinet of the Presidency" was reduced to two members with a
colonel at its head, but was supplemented with a "military
household"--the first appearance of this institution under the third
republic--consisting of six officers, so that Marshal MacMahon had
seven officers in all as his immediate attendants.

At this point M. Grévy enters the Elysée. He throws out the military
member of the Cabinet of the Presidency, but increases by one his
military household, so that there were as many officers at the Elysée
under the lawyer president as under the marshal president. Nor has M.
Carnot, the engineer president, departed from the example set by his
two predecessors.

When I asked M. Barthélémy Saint Hilaire the explanation of this
custom, he answered: "Our kings were always provided with a military
household, in which marine officers also figured. It is doubtless this
precedent which has surrounded civilian republicans with a body of
officers. The custom is due less to necessity than to a desire to show
respect for the army and navy."

This same military parade is seen at the senate and chamber. During a
sitting of either of these bodies a company of infantry is kept under
arms in a room adjoining the legislative hall, and when the president
of either house enters the building, he advances between two files of
soldiers presenting arms, and is escorted to his chair by the
commanding officer.

This military element in the present government is as unnecessary as
it is dangerous and pernicious. It is dangerous because it might be
turned by an ambitious president against the very constitution he has
taken an oath to defend. Two instances of this danger are afforded by
the action of Napoleon I. on the 18th _Soumaire_ and by that of
Napoleon III. on the 2d of December, 1852. It is pernicious because it
keeps alive in France that love for military display, and that thirst
for conquest, which have been the curse of the country since the days
of Louis XIV.

Another one of these monarchical growths which still flourishes under
the republic is the excessive reverence and even awe which the public
shows to its high officials. When President Carnot appears anywhere,
his reception scarcely differs from that shown to Emperor William in
the course of his numerous journeys. The president is allowed six
hundred thousand francs for "entertaining and travelling," and his
balls and dinners at the Elysée, and especially his official tours
through the country smack of royalty to an extraordinary degree. A
year ago I had an opportunity at Montpelier to study one of these
official visits in all its details, and I was astonished at the royal
aspect of the whole affair. The conferring of decorations, the
dispensing of money to deserving charities, the cut and dried speeches
of the president and the mayors, the military honors,--all this is far
removed from that "Jeffersonian simplicity" which Americans at least
associate with a republic.

One of the most noticeable characteristics of these tours is the
excessive manner in which "the republic" is kept to the fore. In his
speeches while "swinging around the circle" President Carnot is
continually informing expectant mayors and delighted citizens that
"the government of the republic" is watching over their every
interest, and he then hastens to thank them for the enthusiastic
welcome which they have given to "the republic" in his humble person.
The phylloxera has destroyed the vineyards of this or that region, but
"the republican minister of agriculture" is successfully extirpating
the injurious insect. The new schoolhouses of another city owe their
magnificence "to the deep solicitude of the republic for the education
of the masses," while the recently constructed bridge over the river
is the work of "the engineers of the republic." In a word, the farmer
and his crops, the mechanic and his house-rent, the schoolmaster and
his salary, the wine growers and their plaster, the day laborers and
their hours of work, and of course the politicians and their
constituents, if the former be republicans, are, according to
presidential oratory, the special care of the republic.

Nor is it President Carnot alone who thus proclaims the extraordinary
virtues of the ever watchful republic. The ministers, who are
continually indulging in brief tours into the provinces, doing _en
petit_ what M. Carnot does _en grand_, are even more assiduous than
the president (because their political position is less secure,) in
sounding on all occasions the praises of the republic.

Nor is this ringing of the changes on the word republic confined to
the oratory of presidential and ministerial junketings. The obtrusion
is brought about in many other ways. Thus M. Carnot is always spoken
of in the newspapers and elsewhere as "the president of the republic."
M. Waddington at London is "the ambassador of the republic." The
district attorney is "the attorney of the republic." An official bust
of the republic is given the place of honor on the walls of the town
council chamber, the public schoolroom, and the courtroom. A new
bridge will have carved on its arches the monogram R. F. (République
Française) while the same familiar letters stare at you from the
fronts of all the public buildings erected since 1870.

The practice is impolitic, to say the least. We have already seen how
large and powerful is the body of enemies of the present institutions.
It is a mistake thus to force them to admit, at every turn, that they
are being governed by a regime which they detest. At a sitting of the
Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs declares that
"the government of the republic," not France, is negotiating this or
that matter. The Minister of the Interior is called upon to explain
some rather high-handed measure against obstreperous agitators, and he
informs the deputies that "the republic" will not permit laws to be
broken with impunity. The Minister of Public Instruction presents a
bill for the reorganization of the university system, and in his
speech in its support dwells on "the solicitude of the republic for
the education of the masses," thus exciting the opposition of a third
of the members of the Chamber. Some of the stormiest and most
disgraceful scenes that have occurred in the Chamber of Deputies
during the past twenty years are traceable to this foolish parading of
the word republic. The republican party could cut the ground from
under the feet of their opponents, and bring over thousands of fresh
recruits to the new institutions if they would only speak less of the
republic and more of France.[2]

      [2] When, during the _Seize Mai_ crisis, MacMahon's message
          adjourning the sittings for a month was read to the Chamber,
          the republicans protested with repeated cries of "Vive la
          République!" to which the Right responded with "Vive la
          France!" A month later, when the decree dissolving the
          Chamber was laid before the Chamber, the republicans
          shouted: "Vive la République! Vive la Paix!" and the Right
          answered with "Vive la France! Vive le Maréchal!" When it
          was announced in full Congress that M. Grévy had been
          elected President, and again when M. Carnot's name was
          proclaimed in the same way, the republicans once more
          hurrahed for a form of government, while their opponents
          posed as the defenders of the country and the nation.

Another grave error of the republic is its break with the Catholic
Church. I have no space here to place the blame where it belongs. I
wish simply to point out the lamentable fact that the whole powerful
organization of Rome is arrayed against the present government of
France. The danger from this source cannot be exaggerated. It has made
the whole body of women enemies of the republic, and "a government
which has the women against it is lost," says Laboulaye. And if
Cardinal Lavigerie and the Pope are, at the eleventh hour, coming
around to the republic, is it to be wondered at that the Radicals
declare that the Church is changing front for the purpose of capturing
rather than supporting the republic?

Attacking the purse is quite as grave a mistake as attacking the
religion of the thrifty, economical, and provident Frenchman. The
financial policy of the republic is unpopular. The annual deficit and
the increasing taxation are crying evils even more difficult to handle
than are religious troubles, while conservative republican statesmen,
like Senator Barthélémy Saint Hilaire, tell me that the national debt
keeps on increasing at such a rate that the bankruptcy of France seems
sure in the more or less distant future. The present tendency towards
a high protective tariff is an attempt to bring money into the
national treasury, and thus relieve the peasant and manufacturer not
only from foreign competition, but from the disagreeable claims of the

The Alsace Lorraine imbroglio must, of course, be mentioned in any
list of the dangers threatening the French republic. But it is not so
dangerous as might appear at first blush, for, although it is quite
true that a war with Germany, especially if it should terminate
disastrously, would shake the republic to its foundations, and perhaps
topple it to the ground, this same Alsace-Lorraine difficulty is, in
home affairs, almost the only question in whose consideration all
parties unite on the common ground of patriotism. A republican orator
is sure to win the applause of the Right when he refers in eloquent
terms to the "Lost Provinces," "about which," as Gambetta said, "a
Frenchman should always think but say nothing."

My picture is full of dark colors. But I do not think that I have
exaggerated the faults and weaknesses of the third republic. But it
should be borne in mind that in this brief paper I have dealt alone on
the faults and weaknesses. If I were to go farther and examine the
merits and strong points of the present government of France, I could
easily prove that notwithstanding these faults and weaknesses, it is
highly probable that the various royal and imperial pretenders, their
children and their children's children, will, live and die without
ever being able to set up again in France the throne of the Capets or
that of the Bonapartes.



Office-holding politicians who have heretofore led the people, are
leading them now, until we, the hapless voters, find ourselves
confronted with the following so-called issues, or rather

Protection with reciprocity--_Republicanism._

Free trade with incidental protection--_Democracy._

The Democratic ex-President and the Republican President are in
perfect agreement on the question of remonetizing silver and many
sub-leaders and able party newspapers on both sides are in accord with
these two successors of Washington, and the sub-lieutenants pass the
word around, "Do not discuss the silver question, it is an immaterial

These are the anomalous conditions of American politics stated in all
seriousness as they appear to a layman.

A professional politician, even the man who hopes for future office,
understands that real issues are things to be avoided, because he
would rather placate than antagonize, and he needs friends and
supporters, both in the nominating convention and at the polls; and he
is in his best form when he can campaign without a real issue and help
select his adversaries "in buckram and Kendall green" to have it out
with, on the stump. He knows that a plump, simple issue would reach
the average voter's comprehension, and compel him to a simple "yes" or
"no" that might blast his hopes, destroy this happy equilibrium of
voting parties, and the trade of politics might actually go out of
fashion. Pricked by his fears of all real issues, he becomes a genius
in inventing handy apparent ones that are usually glittering
nothings--impalpable shadows about which he can talk so learnedly by
the life-time, and say nothing and mean nothing. So rapidly has this
expert developed in our land of politics that one man shouts, "I am
for tweedle-dum" and the other answers defiantly back, "I am for
tweedle-dee," and the "campaign of education" is on, the jockeys
mounted, the race begins, and as the cloud of dust rises, "the greasy
caps" fill the air. "Spotted Free Trade" is ridden by the "Old Flag";
"Revenue Only" by the "Screaming Eagle," and the excited voter stakes
his future hopes on "Flag" or "Eagle," most probably as did his father
before him.

It seems this is the wretched outcome of the hundred years of American
education in politics--making of every man not only a sovereign, but a
possible candidate for President. What is it all but a roaring farce?
If we could forget that this is real government coupled with all the
pains and penalties which are the heritage of ignorance, and not mere
child's play, then even serious intelligence might smile though
commiserating the follies of grown men. Have we finally reached the
condition tending toward national political dementia, or is there no
meaning whatever attached any longer to the name of statesman?

Let us look a little further into the absurdities over which American
statesmen are so vehemently wrangling. Our government assumes the old
time function of all governments to make and regulate the currency or
money for the transaction of business--a mere convenience for the
measure of values in buying and selling--in another way a thing
performing functions similar to the yard-stick in measuring, and the
great statesmen are wrangling over the problem of what particular
material that convenience shall be made. And our nation, through
Congress and the President, is ever tinkering, changing, altering, and
reversing regulations concerning this "value measurer"--this
convenient representative of property, and the basis of all commerce,
gold, silver, copper, nickel, and paper to-day, and on this basis
contracts and multitudinous transactions are based; then apparently
that confusion and ruin may follow, an act of Congress may be passed
to-morrow changing the whole thing by demonetizing one or remonetizing
the other; and the government finally opens a junk-shop, and is
engaged actively in the "second-hand" trade, or is in sharp
competition with the rag-picker. And our great political educators
fall to wrangling about a proposition, that could be paralleled only
by some phenomenal crank beating up recruits for a new party upon a
platform that all yard-sticks must be made of hickory wood, and he
shall be deemed a counterfeiter who dares to use any other, and the
length of the yard-stick must be flexible so that "a yard shall
always contain a yard's worth of cloth." The children open a play
store, and there the legal tender for all goods is pins, where the
size of the pin or the exact composition it is made of are never
considered. There is, to my mind, no question but the children should
teach our great statesmen some of the fundamentals of common sense.
These are specimens of the economic problems evolved from our hundred
years of voting experiment--the ripened fruit of self-government.
Books and papers are filled with discussions of whether both gold and
silver should be legal tender for debts or only gold. And the rank
sophistries that mark the flood-tide of a campaign discussion either
of this or the problem of taxation are surely to be considered among
the curiosities of our civilization. Just why men should range
themselves on respective party lines on these questions and shut their
eyes to evils that are eating their way to the heart of government and
that unchecked must end in common ruin, passes comprehension.

The organization of a powerful party machinery with the authority to
discipline recalcitrant or discordant members is a natural outgrowth
of our universal voting. The active politicians and place hunters will
control the machine, and when office, and place are made glittering
prizes, then comes the inevitable scramble, the selfishness, trampling
the weak by the strong, corruption, chicanery, the unspeakable crimes,
and finally the Pandora's box is opened, and the swarming evils darken
the heavens. Inferior men with greatest cunning and least scruples
soon push their way to the front; all sight of good government is
eventually lost, the Washingtons and Jeffersons in time disappear with
a constantly increasing ratio from public life, and the end is the
great Leaderless Mob and bloody chaos. Even at best our politicians
and party publications sing in unison, all struggling to the same end,
victory at the polls and the elimination, as far as possible, of real
issues. Their quadrennial platforms are ever coming nearer and nearer
together--not omitting a plank expressing "profound sympathy" with the
poor, persecuted people of some part of the Old World. A large
majority of the Democracy are openly in favor of free trade and free
silver, while the average "favorite son" is only in favor of "reform"
in tariff, and hence you can find men in favor of a prohibitory
tariff calling themselves Democrats; while many of the lay members of
the Republican party are the earnest advocates of free trade and free
silver. If our statesmen do not use words to conceal ideas, then there
is no question but that the rank and file, those caring nothing about
the offices personally, are in advance of their leaders and party
publications. Unfortunately the average voter studies the science of
politics--good government,--only when thumb-screwed by bad
legislation. When happy and revelling in plenty, this cunning thrift
of politicians is good enough "statesmanship" for pretty much all of
us; then we can really admire the brightness of the great "Magnetic"
when he says, "Boys, I am a model high tarriffite, and in favor of
reciprocity;" even the vitriolic ravings of the iridescent--sparkling
phrases without ideas, torchlight jeremaids about the poor Southern
negro, are all brilliant statesmanship; so long as the waters are
smooth and prosperous, plenty is coming to everybody. But when the
pinch of misgovernment comes in the form of the gaunt wolf then the
people rise up, and without a "statesman" to lead, without a newspaper
to educate, but with a holy wrath, crush out these official puppets.
For at least sixteen years the unbiased intelligence of the Democratic
party (not politicians) has been urging party leaders to take the bold
stand for free trade. During the same time the Republican voters have
urged their leaders to declare for "protection for protection's sake."

In 1888 the Republican Convention boldly challenged Democrats to the
open issue of protection absolute versus free trade. The best voters
on the other side were eager to pick up this gauge of battle, but
their leaders, covert protectionists, and makeshift office seekers,
bade them nay, and a Democratic "stump speech" in that campaign was a
curiosity. Part first would demonstrate the infamy of all "protection"
taxes; part second would demonstrate that the orator was in favor of
"protection" to a certain degree. Thus handicapped, the Democratic
office seekers fought out the long campaign and lost as they deserved.
Happily for the country, because that victory convinced every
Republican in the land, except the man of Maine, that the people
wanted prohibitory tariffs, all foreign commerce destroyed, and that
they honestly believed there was such a thing as "home markets" to be
regulated by statute. And the "three Bow Street tailors in Congress"
proceeded in all sincerity to carry out what they, in their
simplicity, judged to be the instruction given by the people at the
polls. The "great secretary" alone of the "smart" men of the land,
understood the people in the '88 election better; he, it seems, well
understood that "protection" carried to prohibition was the yawning
grave of any party responsible for it without providing some loop-hole
of escape in the burial ceremony, and this unequalled politician
in the nick of time startled the country with the cry of
"Reciprocity"--spotted free trade. His messmates turned upon him with
objurgations deep, yet he had saved them from themselves, by the bold
dash of a "plumed knight." Had he been in the Kansas senator's place,
Kansas would have been again cajoled and humbugged into silence, and
possibly have given an increase on its 82,000 Republican majority.

Mr. Blaine was constantly defeated in his ambition to be President.
General Harrison was successful and fills the place that _ex-officio_
makes him leader. He is nominally the party captain, while in truth
there is more real power in one hand of his armor bearer than there is
in the loins of the Executive. Now the author of the bill increasing
taxes thinks he is on the road to the White House by campaigning Ohio
on the beauties of protection--with reciprocity or "free trade in
spots" left out entirely,--Blaine's happiest invention and the only
thing that will save "the Napoleon" if saved at all, from crushing
defeat this Fall in his own State. The Democrats have put up against
him Governor Campbell with the plankless platform of the "McKinley
bill," and an internal discussion on the silver question. Thus the two
parties of that great State are marshalling in battle array their
lines under banners that might be labelled "Tweedle-dum" and
"Tweedle-dee." The last Democratic President was a product of the long
successes of the Republican party and its mistakes, chief among which
was the covert act demonetizing silver in 1873. It brought its train
of wrong and disaster to our nation; while the people were unconscious
of the cause, yet they could feel the pangs, and results ripened in
1884 in the election of the Buffalo mayor. As President and as
ex-President he is the natural party leader, but he has endorsed the
monstrous act of 1873 in regard to silver, the very mistake that
chiefly made him President, and now should that bar forever the door
of the White House to his re-entry therein, the result would not be
one of the seven wonders of the world.

These happenings, so fresh and patent, remind one of the sworn
testimony of an eminent general of the late war before the Senatorial
Committee in describing the battle of Gettysburg: "After the lines are
formed and fighting commences all is confusion and hap-hazard."
Apparently there is no science in statesmanship, and our politics are
but a ruthless trampling on the simple maxims of political economy.
These were the forces that secretly working through the patient years
of misrule and folly caused to bloom and fruit in a night, this
stalwart tribe of rural statesmen who so remorselessly struck down the
Republican party in its State of largest majority, and so disfigured
the fortunes of the master polytechnic orator. A hayseed sprouted and
grown in a night like unto Jack's beanstalk, and without leaders--all
concert action mere incidents, the people marched to the polls in
Kansas and amazed the world and themselves. The leaderless mobs met
other leaderless mobs--that proved to be mere skeletons of
organizations led and composed chiefly of wrangling, quarrelling,
purposeless, and nearly idealess politicians. The leaderless mob was
in profound earnest while the "statesmen" as usual were merely
masquerading, with no other weapons of defence against attacks save
that of Samson's when he fought the Philistines--all jaw.

Politicians discuss with amazing brilliancy their beautiful issue of a
little higher tariffs or a little lower tariffs, while the people
bluntly talk of protection to the full, or absolute free trade.
Politicians really enjoy having made gold the only money, and then
talk learnedly about the government buying so much metal monthly and
coining it, so that silver will be both money and not money, while the
people talk about free silver or gold only.

These are the conditions existing on the only two national questions
now under consideration. To a layman's mind neither of them should
have ever been made a national question at all. And men called "great
statesmen" who have pushed aside all real economic questions worthy of
consideration among civilized men, and forced these figments forward,
are neither statesmen nor safe politicians. Look at them! Their
discussion of tariffs is whether we must have higher or lower taxes
_per se_. Their contentions on the money question are simply the
vicious acts of Congress that are the same as if we should pass laws
every two years changing the length of our yard-sticks. These are the
great issues breeding our wonderful race of "great statesmen"--the
mountain labored and the little mouse came forth.

There are vital questions that should, especially in our experimental
voting government, be ever present to all our people for investigation
and permanent settlement, to wit:--

How to turn back this stream of paternalism in government--the monster
criminal, the murderer of the dead nations and civilizations, the
river of woe flowing forever round the world.

How to make the best of governments by ever-lowering taxes?

How to perfect a "civil service" by burdening officials, lessening
fees and salaries, abolishing patronage, and sealing salaries below
the pay of similar private employ?

How to better education and thereby check this stream of "learned

How to reach the consummation of the best government because the least

How to reform our judiciary until justice between men shall be nearly
instantaneous and the next cheapest thing to air and water?

How to save the weak (the majority) from the strong and selfish?

How to be the freest and therefore the best people that have ever

How to prevent crime and suffering by removing causes?

How to destroy this struggle for government employ, this passion to be
a public parasite and live off of others' toil?

How to make and regulate nearly all government institutions upon the
principle of our postal system--self-supporting by the voluntary tax
from those who use its powers or its offices?

How to eradicate all this flunkeyism that makes idols of
office-holders--mere fetiches producing a species of the lowest order
of hero-worship--a nation of snobs who can meanly admire mean things?

How to call out statesmen and abolish demagogues?

How to understand that real statesmen repeal and never enact?

How to prevent governments from inflicting upon the innocents
unspeakable wrongs, under the monstrous plea that the few must suffer
for the good of the many?

These and similar questions that are as deep as life itself, and that
should come even to our little children in their romps and plays, the
same as they learn to avoid the pit, or to fear a vicious dog, are the
vital problems of mankind. These are questions essential to the
preservation of life, and touching the progress of civilization; the
natural economic problems that real statesmen should set before the
people. Intelligent study and voting upon these and similar questions
would give us real statesmen for present demagogues.

The average American is always more than satisfied with his perfect
surroundings so long as he can point out his advantages over the
wretched victims of paternalism in Europe. This is both a low and
ignorant self-laudation. Of course, wretched though you may be, you
are incomparably better off than the miserables of cruel Russia,
because our national government could not possibly be as outrageous as
is of necessity that of the Czar. It has taken many centuries to
evolve such a monster cuttle-fish as the Russian government that has
fastened its tentacles upon its millions of people, and is slowly
crushing out their lives. _This is but government paternalism full and
ripe._ Who shall say that if paternalism in this country goes on as it
is to-day, growing and strengthening, the time is not coming when we
no longer can boast over the people of the God-forsaken land? Mankind
is much the same to-day and forever; _so is government paternalism;
once a foothold gained, it can only be washed out in blood_. The
Russians have been giving over their souls and their lives to their
national fetich which has accepted their patriotic and contrite
offerings, and is now leisurely devouring them. The ancient migrating
barbarian when he camped at night, got his supper by cutting it out of
the hams of the ox that had all day borne him and his load on the
weary journey--he had to have his supper, and just so it is with
Russian government. Just so it will be in any government when it is
impossible longer for the Leaderless Mob to spring into existence and
into power.

Therefore, rural statesmen, all hail! Grant it that one of your
political measures is rank imbecility, your acts in exposing the
essential knavery of our phenomenal humbugs are beautiful and full of
goodness and wisdom. And your worst, in the face of all jibes, is so
incomparably superior to those of the "great statesmen" that they may
be esteemed actually respectable. When the two parties had become
Leaderless Mobs, because even their fictions or absurd issues had
reached a common point, then arose the people in the might of their
Leaderless Mob, and turned the river into the Augean stables. Who is
it anyhow of the "magnetic" tribe that may cast the first stone at the
"haystack"? They simply broke party shackles and struck boldly for
justice,--blindly it may be--as well it should be, because they could
not well hit amiss. In this scramble and hurly-burly where is the
"statesman" who can point to any similar act of his own in behalf of
his fellow-man? Their most arrant follies at least are not mean
compared to the "issues" as made up by our "great statesmen" of a
little higher tax, or a little lower tax, or a frequent change in the
money standard of the country.

It is time for intelligent men to tire of all this burlesque of
politics and this solemn joke of calling it "great statesmanship,"
that is breeding these ungainly toadies--squat and warty. A country is
great only as her political institutions are good and wise--not merely
when it is strong in numbers, large in acres, and swarming with
politicians and parasites that are worshipped as great and good
statesmen. That is not the kind of greatness of country that I hanker
for very seriously. I would wish a better education for our children
than we have had--one that would cure them of this disease of
ignorance in politics, worship of demagogy and admiration of that
cheap and nasty politics that is our national disease, and that is
making on our body politic abhorrent warts and angry sores. The
mistaken fanatics who are striving to put "God in the Constitution"
are not to blame; they are the offspring of this growing paternalism,
this fetich worship, this public education by these relays of "great



When Madame Blavatsky was on her way to found the Theosophical Society
in India, I met her in London, at the house of an American
family,--devout spiritualists. She had a reputation for picking up
teapots from under her chair, and our hostess seemed somewhat
disappointed that she did not accord me some miracle. Although nothing
unusual occurred, Madame Blavatsky was herself sufficiently phenomenal
to make the evening interesting. She was not then, 1878, so huge as
she afterwards became, and was rather attractive. She was humorous,
entertaining, affable; she had the air of a woman who had tried every
experience,--the last person I should have suspected of interest in
spiritual or other philosophy. We next heard of her as the high
priestess of a new cult in India. Rumors reached London, where I was
residing, that this new religion was spreading among the Hindus,
giving much trouble to the missionaries, and that Madame Blavatsky was
suspected of being in the pay of the Russian government. That way of
meeting the new movement was silenced by threats of prosecuting any
who should make personal charges against the leaders of Theosophy. It
was presently reported that Madame Blavatsky had made converts of A.
P. Sinnett, editor of the _Pioneer of India_, and Mr. Allan Hume,
formerly connected with the Indian government. Presently Mr. Sinnett
came to London, and gave us lectures in drawing-rooms on Theosophy. He
expatiated on the wonders performed by Madame Blavatsky with the aid
of certain "Mahatmas," who by secret knowledge, had gained powers of
prolonged existence, and of appearing in their "astral" forms at vast
distances from their retreat in the Himalayas.

As I was contemplating a journey round the world, which would bring me
to India, I asked Mr. Sinnett, in private conversation, whether I
could make a pilgrimage to the abode of these mighty Mahatmas, and
converse with them. "Do you mean?" he asked, "as you now converse
with me?"--"Yes."--"No."--"Why not?"--"Oh, it would take too long to
explain." Thereafter I tried to find out something that would aid a
practical investigation from Mr. Sinnett's books, but found them
uninstructive and sensational. In the autumn of the same year, I was
in Australia, and found there a good deal of excitement about
Theosophy. At Sydney, where spiritualists and secularists had formed a
curious alliance, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were mentioned
as grand personages,--she a countess, he a famous warrior of the
United States army. The marvels they wrought were of only English size
in Australia, but on the approach to India they loomed up in oriental
magnitude. Madame had only to walk in any garden to pick brooches from
flowers, and find rupees at will, like the fabled tree that yielded
whatever was asked of it.

At length I reached the headquarters of Theosophy, at Adyar, some
fifteen miles out of Madras, and not far from St. Thomé, where the
doubting disciple left his footprints blood-stained on the spot of his
martyrdom. Entering Madame's park I passed the pasteboard carcasses of
two blue elephants which had stood at the gateway on the occasion of a
recent Theosophist anniversary. Through the large and leafy park,
luxuriant with palm and mango, I drove up to the handsome mansion,
with a growing suspicion that too much had been said of the sacrifices
made by the New York journalist and the medium in founding their new
religion. While awaiting Madame's appearance, I sat in the veranda, on
a cushioned sofa of fine Indian work, beside a table holding the
newest books and magazines, receiving an impression of the charms with
which self-sacrifice has been invested since the days of poor St.
Thomas. Presently I was approached by a young Hindu, dreamy and
picturesque, who said Madame Blavatsky would soon be with me. Next
there advanced a youth who almost seemed an apparition; he proved to
be a "lay chela," and his snowy garment gave a saintly look to his
delicate beauty. He sweetly apologized for not taking my offered hand,
saying he was forbidden by his "Guru" (Mahatma) to shake hands, this
being one of the conditions of his farther development.

Madame Blavatsky gave me a cordial welcome. She sent off my carriage,
and urged me to pass the night. She had already been informed by our
friend, Professor Smith, of Sydney University, that I was coming, and
regretted Colonel Olcott's absence. Her dress was the white gown,
without belt, which makes a noon costume of Russian ladies in summer.
Her manner was easy, her talk witty, and she disarmed prejudice by her
impulsive candor. In addition to the two Hindus already mentioned,
others joined us, among these Norendranath Sen, editor of the _Indian
Mirror_, and relative of the Brahmo apostle Keshub Chunder Sen. All of
them spoke good English. Another person present was W. T. Brown, an
educated young Scotchman, and Dr. Hartmann, of Colorado. These young
men, the Hindus especially, were eager to relate their marvellous
experiences in receiving from the distant Mahatmas immediate answers
to their letters. The letters, it was explained, were placed "in the
shrine," and I at once proposed to write a note, referring to some
matter known to myself alone, in order to carry home evidence of the
existence and knowledge of the Mahatmas.

"What a pity!" broke in Madame Blavatsky, who had not participated in
the conversation, "only three days ago I was told by my Guru that the
shrine must not be used for letters any more!"

"It has generally been my luck," I said, perhaps betraying vexation.
"For thirty years I have been unwearied in trying to test alleged
phenomena, but have always happened to be a little too late or a
little too early. I was assured that it would be otherwise here!"

The young Hindus had eagerly approved my proposal to test the Mahatma,
and had evidently heard nothing of the prohibition. Madame Blavatsky,
who betrayed no embarrassment whatever, presently arose, invited me to
accompany her, and led me to a secluded room. Here she shut the door,
lit a cigarette, offered me one, and sat serenely awaiting my next
move. I told her that I had a sincere purpose in coming. Some of my
valued friends were deeply interested in Theosophy. If extraordinary
events were really occurring, none could be more ready to acknowledge
them than myself. I had a congregation in London, and we were not
afraid to recognize new facts if verified. "Now," I said, "what do
these rumors mean? I hear of your lifting teapots from beneath your
chair, summoning lost jewels, conversing with Mahatmas a thousand
miles away."

"Your questions shall be answered," said Madame Blavatsky. "You are a
public teacher and ought to know the truth. It is glamour; people
think they see what they do not see. That is the whole of it."

I could not repress some homage to the sagacity of this unwitnessed
confession. Forewarned that I was coming, Madame had received from her
Guru a convenient prohibition against further use of the shrine as a
post-office; and now, by one clever stroke, she altogether forestalled
an inconvenient investigation. Obstruction to experiments, or evasion,
would have been such confession as I could use. Failure to obtain
phenomena that could be verified might subtly awaken skepticism in the
simple-hearted Hindus around her. But this secret confession, which
might be repudiated if necessary, raised my whole siege at once.[3]
And the confession itself, while it admitted the unreality of the
miracles, left a marvel,--namely, her power to cause the
hallucinations. I remembered the legend of Glam, from whom came our
word "glamour," and had a droll feeling of being defeated, like
Grettir, in the moment of his victory over that moonshine-giant. As
says the Saga, "even as Glam fell a cloud was driven from the moon,
and Glam said, Exceedingly eager hast thou sought to meet me, Grettir,
but no wonder will it be deemed, though thou gettest no good hap of
me." Even so it proved lately, when I told my friend, Anne Besant,
that Madame Blavatsky had admitted it was glamour. She reminded me of
the power still left unexplained, to cast the glamour.

      [3] Although this interview is here printed for the first time,
          I mentioned it to some of Madame Blavatsky's friends so that
          she might have an opportunity of giving her version. I am
          told that she said she gave me an answer as directed by her
          Guru. I must conclude therefore that unless the Gurus are all
          glamour, they must be raised by their superhuman merits above
          the obligations of truth.

The remaining hours of my visit at Adyar were occupied with study of
the subjects of Madame's hypnotic powers,--as I supposed them to be.
The young Hindus, with their refined faces and symbolical draperies,
conveyed an impression of being like the magical mangoes which the
jugglers evoke, looking at them from time to time to see how they are
growing. There were phases of chelahood, with precise terms for each.
I was invited to visit the shrine. It was in a small room, and stood
against the wall, reaching nearly to the ceiling. It was decorated
with mystical emblems and figures, and a breath of incense came when
the doors were opened. The Hindus prostrated themselves on the floor,
and hid their faces; it was explained as their oriental custom, but it
is certainly favorable to Thaumaturgy. Two days afterwards I was told,
being then at sea, that while we visited the shrine a mysterious bell
had sounded. No such incident was mentioned at the time, and I felt
quite sure that Madame Blavatsky and myself were the only persons
present whose testimony would be trustworthy. The interior of the
shrine was inlaid with metal work. There were various figures, Buddha
being in the centre, and framed "portraits" of Mahatmas Koothoomi and
Moria. Each portrait was about seven inches high, and if drawn, as I
understood, by astral art, it may be hoped the process will remain
occult. Koothoomi, who somewhat resembled an old London portrait I
have of Rammohun Roy, holds a small barrel-shaped praying-machine on
his head.

A considerable company surrounded the dinner table, and included one
or two whom I had not seen. Madame Blavatsky was a genial hostess.
When a disciple told some miraculous experience she would turn to me
and say, "Now think of that!" She ate little, but smoked a cigarette
during the repast. Late in the evening, as I insisted on leaving, she
ordered her carriage for me, and promised me an astral apparition of
herself after I should reach London. I did not find in Madame
Blavatsky the coarseness of which I had heard, and suspect it is
mainly due to a prejudice against ladies smoking.

Our ship between Madras and Calcutta was a floating epitome of the
world. There were missionaries contending with pundits, and world
travellers lazily amused by discussions involving the eternal welfare
of the human race. But the disputes had a hollow and perfunctory
sound, and the cultured Englishmen stood apart. Mozoomdar, of the
Brahmo-Somaj, preached us an ordinary Unitarian sermon. In private he
expressed to me a horror of Madame Blavatsky, but he did not appear to
me possessed of such religious enthusiasm as Norendranath Sen, whom I
had met at Adyar. The latter reproved me for wishing to see Madame
Blavatsky's wonders, instead of recognizing in Theosophy a movement
that was saving India from being dragged into revolting dogmas called
Christianity, its superstitions, discords, inhumanities. Even
admitting that some delusions, or impositions, have been connected
with the movement, they would pass away if liberal men did not make so
much of them, and would help to develop Theosophy into a religion
related to the devout and poetic genius of the oriental world. The
words of this thoughtful Hindu impressed me much. I need only look
about me on the ship to recognize the fact that the West is
overturning the deities and altars of the East, but has no religion to
give these instinctive worshippers. The scholarly English Church would
appear to have become conscious of this, and is leaving the work of
propagandism to vulgar and ignorant sects. There seems to be nothing
offered the young Hindus graduated in the universities of India except
a repulsive "Salvationism" on the one hand, and a cold Agnosticism on
the other. I had conversed with a company of students at Madras, and
found them hardly able to understand the interest with which I
followed the processions of "idols" about the streets, such things
being looked on by them much as a march of the Salvation Army might be
regarded by Oxonians. They had little interest in Christianity, but
some of them spoke reverently of Buddha, and probably Theosophy has
done something to revive in India love for that long banished teacher.

On the whole, I found the little company in their beautiful retreat at
Adyar becoming more and more picturesque in the distance. It seems a
hard, precipitous fall from visions of Indra's paradise to a
materialistic world of predatory evolution. The youth at Adyar,
dreaming of Mahatmas in mystical mountains, and evolving a natural
supernaturalism, may be dwelling amid illusions; but, as Shakespeare
tells us, our little life is rounded with a sleep,--a dreamland. If
Madame Blavatsky had recovered Prospero's buried wand, and amid the
dry and dusty realism of our time raised for her followers a realm of
faërie, beguiling them from scenes of falling temples and fading
heavens, were it not cruel to break her wand, even though it be
glamour? I remember at Concord, in my youth, a little controversy in
which miracles were critically handled, some ladies present being
distressed. Emerson had remained silent, and on our way home said,
"After all it appears doubtful whether, when children are enjoying a
play, one must tell them the scene is paint and pasteboard, and the
fairy's jewels but glass."

So I bore away from Adyar a slight sprinkle of Madame Blavatsky's
moonshine. But it was rudely dispelled in Calcutta and Bombay, where
the priestess had worn out her welcome by attempts at fraud. One of
these instances was related by Mr. J. D. Broughton, a gentleman
connected with the Indian government, to whom I carried a letter of
introduction. Unwilling to accept any such fact without verification,
I afterwards corresponded with those cognizant of the facts, and have
before me now their letters establishing the statements of the
following from Mr. Broughton.

     "I was in Calcutta, and a friend was staying with me, Mr. H.
     Blanford, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and head of the
     Meteorological Department,--a practical man, not, I think,
     disposed to judge wrongly one way or the other. We both know Mrs.
     Gordon [a spiritualist] the lady to whom Mr. Eglinton [a
     spiritualist medium of London] wrote--or says he wrote--from the
     Vega, while at sea; and I am on friendly terms with her, as is
     Mr. Blanford to the best of my belief. She called at my house a
     day or two after the Vega had left Colombo, and produced a
     letter, an envelope, and two or three cards. The letter was from
     Mr. Eglinton. It was not in the envelope, but was attached to it
     by a string in the corner, which was passed through the corner of
     the cards. These cards had writing upon them, which we were told
     was the writing of Madame Blavatsky, then at Poona. The writing
     on the cards referred to the contents of the letter. The envelope
     had three crosses on the back of it. Mrs. Gordon stated that
     these letters had been brought to her the day before by what are
     called astral means, having been conveyed from the Vega, then on
     the way from Colombo to Aden, first to Poona, and then from Poona
     to her residence in Housah, a suburb of Calcutta. I have not the
     slightest doubt that Mrs. Gordon firmly believed this, and I am
     under the impression that she believes it still. Mr. Blanford and
     I, however, ventured to ask a few questions as to the
     circumstances under which the letters made their appearance at
     Housah, and the replies led us to form an opinion that the lady
     might have been imposed upon. The circumstances, which were, I
     believe, considered to amount to strong proof in favor of the
     astral theory, were published in a paper called _Psychic Notes_,
     in Calcutta.

     "I wrote to my wife [who had travelled on the Vega to England]
     and sent this account to her. She replied that Mr. Eglinton had
     brought a letter to her [during the voyage] to be marked,--that
     it had a cross upon it, and that she had been asked to mark
     another or others, and that she did so, crossing the first

     "I will add that when my wife left Calcutta I accompanied her in
     a steam launch, and she embarked on board the Vega at Diamond
     Harbor. I was the bearer of a letter to Mr. Eglinton. It was
     given to me for him by Mrs. Gordon, I think, but I won't be
     positive. I had known Mr. Eglinton; he was in the habit, when in
     Calcutta, of giving exhibitions of his powers in private houses,
     for a fee. He came to our house in this way, but nothing
     occurred; I think he considered it a failure."

Mrs. Broughton writes that she was with her friend Mrs. Eddis when
Eglinton brought the letter. Both ladies observed that the letter
which Koothoomi was to convey across the sea contained no allusion to
anything that had occurred since they left--nothing that might not
have been written before they started. Instead of marking the
envelope, for identification, in the way Eglinton suggested, she made
his cross into an asterisk. But the envelope published in India to
prove the power of Koothoomi was marked, as Eglinton had requested,
with three separate crosses. All efforts to obtain explanation of the
difference between the marks on the letter sent and the letter
received were vain. In reply to my question Mr. Sinnett said, "All I
can tell you now is that Mrs. Broughton acted very badly." I was
present when the Hon. Mrs. Pitt Rivers pressed Colonel Olcott for an
explanation. He replied, "The tone of your question suggests collusion
between the Theosophists of India and Mr. Eglinton. To such a charge I
am, of course, dumb." It was the only prudent answer he could make.

This incident lowered my idea of Madame Blavatsky's powers. It was not
clever to rest so much on the pliability of a "society lady" with whom
she was unacquainted. I presently found that at Bombay she had failed
in several performances, but was shielded by a theosophistical
argument that mere jugglers never fail.[4] There was a pretty general
feeling in Calcutta and Bombay that no glamour or magnetic mystery was
needed for Madame Blavatsky's thaumaturgy, which would soon collapse
in Madras as elsewhere. Nearly the first thing I heard after reaching
London (1884) was of that collapse. Mr. and Mrs. Coulomb, the former a
skilled mechanic, had confessed at Madras that they had all along
been assisting Madame Blavatsky in frauds; elaborate contrivances were
discovered behind the shrine, and compromising letters written by the
high priestess were produced. Madame Blavatsky declared that the
contrivances were put in the shrine to ruin her; but Coulomb could
have done that by a small mechanism, whereas the arrangements were
extensive and expensive, requiring such time as must have assured
detection, and money which he had not. The letters, mainly efforts to
prevent the Coulombs from revealing the frauds, were pronounced
forgeries; but no expert reading them can fail to perceive that to
forge them would require a genius far beyond even that of Madame
Blavatsky. The letters are brilliant, and Mrs. Coulomb is sometimes
worsted in them. Mrs. Coulomb, after her confession, wrote me a long
letter, which shows no trace of the style or ability disclosed in the
Blavatsky letters. However, it was a sufficient confession that the
Theosophists receded from a proposal to test all these things,
including the handwriting of the letters, before a law court, for
which the Coulombs were eager. The result was that Madame Blavatsky
left India and established herself in London.

      [4] Commissioner Grant was awakened by a telegram and requested
          to look for a cigarette in a certain part of the Prince of
          Wales' statue, in Bombay; he went and found nothing. Mrs.
          Coulomb now says she was Madame B----'s confederate, and that
          she was afraid of being taken up as a lunatic if she climbed
          to the unicorn's horn where the cigarette was to be placed.
          So she said the rain must have washed it away. Madame
          Blavatsky showed mental weakness in not considering the
          difficulties, and her fondness for cigarettes made her set
          them too high in dignity as well as position.

At the very time that I was at Adyar, and despite a certain repugnance
to "occultism," sympathetically appreciating the serene harmony of the
Theosophists in their beautiful retreat amid the palms, the place was
turbid with discord, Madame Blavatsky at one end of the table and the
Coulombs at the other were even then in mortal combat. I have often
marvelled at the self-possession of the woman under the suspended
sword that presently fell.

The most curious thing about this turbaned Spiritualism is its
development of the Koothoomi myth. I asked Sir W. W. Hunter,
Gazetteer-General of India, and other orientalists, about the name of
this alleged Mahatma, or Rabat, and they declared Koothoomi to be
without analogies in any Hindu tongue, ancient or modern. I was
assured on good authority that the name was originally "Cotthume," and
a mere mixture of Ol-_cott_ and _Hume_, Madame Blavatsky's principal
adherents. Out of Madame's jest was evolved this incredible being, who
performed the part allotted to the aboriginal "John King" in America.
Sumangala, chief priest of the Buddhist world, though not unfriendly
to Theosophy, told me that it was a belief among them that there had
been Rahats in the early world. I gathered from him and others that
they are thought of as Enoch, Seth, Elias, etc., are in Christendom.
The Coulomb story is that a pasteboard doll, with half-shrouded head,
superimposed on the shoulders of Mr. Coulomb, himself orientally
draped, moved about in the dusk at Adyar when an "astral" apparition
was wanted. In an accession of conscience, Mrs. Coulomb, who is a
Catholic, smashed the effigy. She says she had not cared much so long
as Hindus only were cheated, because they believed such things anyway,
but she could not stand it when European gentlemen and ladies were
subjects of the imposture. Perhaps it was because of this moral
"strike" that Koothoomi was not tried on me.

What will be the future of Theosophy? Its age of miracles has passed,
and is more likely to be repudiated than renewed. It may easily be
held that even if Madame Blavatsky was sometimes tempted, in the
absence of her potent Guru, to satisfy the demand for signs and
wonders with devices, she performed wonders not so explicable. In one
of Madame Blavatsky's letters to Mrs. Coulomb, she says, defiantly, "I
have a thousand strings to my bow, and God Himself could not open the
eyes of those who believe in me." Elsewhere she quotes a letter she
(Blavatsky) has from Colonel Olcott, saying: "If Madame Coulomb, who
has undeniably helped you in some phenomena, for she told this to me
herself, were to proclaim it on the top of the roof, it would change
nothing in my knowledge, and that of Dr. Hartmann, Brown, Sinnett,
Hume, and so many others, in the appreciation of Theosophy and their
veneration for the brothers. You alone would suffer. For even if you
yourself were to tell me that the Mahatmas do not exist, and that you
have tricked in every phenomenon produced by you, I would answer you
that YOU LIE, for we know the Mahatmas, and know that you cannot--no
more than a fly on the moon--have produced certain of the best of your
phenomena." It should be stated here that, in the whole correspondence
revealed by Mrs. Coulomb, Colonel Olcott appears as the dupe of Madame
Blavatsky, and in no case accessory to imposture unless by an amazing

We may assume that Colonel Olcott will continue his propaganda, and it
remains only to consider what vitality there is in Theosophy, apart
from its "occultism," and what competency its leader has for such
work. I gathered up in India a number of Colonel Olcott's addresses,
circulated in cheap form, and find them much like "The Veiled Isis"
ascribed to Madame Blavatsky. They contain a medley of Buddhist,
Brahmanic, and Zoroastrian traditions, interpreted in a mystical and
moral way, the only thing systematic being a Buddhist catechism. This
catechism was printed by the favor of a Singhalese lady, and approved,
for use in schools, by the Buddhist high priest Sumangala. Colonel
Olcott's theosophy on the negative side aims to combine all oriental
religions against Christianity. He has not "any belief in, or
connection with, Christianity in any form whatsoever." (_Theosophy and
Buddhism_, p. 2.) But he maintains the oriental philosophies, and to
some extent the mythologies, of eras corresponding to the discredited
biblical doctrines and legends. It is not, indeed, a literal
restoration; but no esoteric interpretation can make it very different
from an attempt to rationalize for Europeans ancient Druidism, or for
Americans Aztec fables and symbolism. This kind of revival appeals in
a certain way to the Rajahs whom English rule has reduced to
antiquarian curiosities; they too are survivals from primitive
religious and social systems. Colonel Olcott had patrons among the
Rajahs who used to send elephants to meet him, and entertain him in
their palaces. But young India is not going that way. English freedom
and English colleges have emancipated Hindu youth, and they look upon
the cruel idolatry under which their fathers groaned as Colonel Olcott
does on the Puritanism he fiercely denounces.

But if Colonel Olcott should give up his Rajahs and elephants, and fix
his headquarters in Ceylon, there would be, I believe, fair prospect
of a fruitful alliance of Theosophy with Buddhism. In this island, now
the centre of the Buddhist world, I found Madame Blavatsky
comparatively unimportant, the great personage being Colonel Olcott.
The Buddhists are a mild, speculative, unambitious people, easily
overborne by the aggressive missionaries, and were without any leader
to defend their rights before Olcott came. He came to their rescue in
a case where their procession was attacked by Catholics, while
enshrining relics of Buddha,--the Catholics thinking it a mockery of
their own processions. Colonel Olcott appealed to the government and
obtained redress. The Catholics (Portuguese) presently found some
holy well, pointed out, I believe, by a vision, where ailing pilgrims
were said to be healed,--among these a number of Buddhists who were
deserting their temples. Colonel Olcott announced that he would try
and heal sufferers in the name of Buddha, and it is said his success
quite eclipsed the holy well. Several eminent Buddhists told me that
he had healed members of their families. He is a robust man, of
powerful will, and in these days of hypnotism his influence over the
most passive of people may appear less wonderful to us than to them.
No Christian was found willing to meet him in debate. By lectures, in
which Ingersollism blends with Arnold's "Light of Asia," the Colonel
brought about a sort of Buddhist revival. The Singhalese saw the
Theosophists as wise men from the West, bringing frankincense and
myrrh to the cradle of their prophet. Although their high priest,
Sumangala, expressed disbelief in the Mahatmas, he valued the services
of Colonel Olcott. He was especially moved by a request from this
American for his permission to administer the _pansala_ to another
American. The ceremony took place at Madras. The two Americans, amid a
crowd of witnesses, went through formulas unheard there since the
ancient banishment of the Buddhists. "I take refuge in Buddha! I take
refuge in religion! I take refuge in Truth!" The Colorado doctor
(Hartmann) pledged observance of the Five Precepts (_pansala_):
abstinence from theft, lying, taking life, intoxicating drink,
adultery. All of this has profoundly impressed the Buddhist world, but
that is a world of humble people. It remains to be seen whether
Theosophy, which has hitherto shown an affection for titles in India
and London, is willing to take its place beside Buddha under his Bo
tree, and share the lowliness of his followers. This may be rather
hard after the rapid success of Theosophy in India, where in four
years from its foundation (1879) it counted seventy-seven flourishing
branches; but these are withering away under the Blavatsky scandals,
and if Theosophy is to live it must "take refuge in Buddha!"



The usually very liberal and skeptical Reverend Minot J. Savage has
become astonishingly, and it may be prematurely, certain on one
subject. In THE ARENA for August (p. 321) he declares that,
"Nationalism, freely chosen, would be the murder of liberty, and
social suicide." To which the usually impartial editor cries Amen,

"I most heartily _and_ cordially endorse Mr. Savage's position." For
this sudden and decisive foreclosure of the future and of THE ARENA
upon Nationalism the world was not prepared. We enter a protest and an
appeal! Able "Gladiators are ready to fight for it," with aid and
sympathy from the leading reformers--the world over. The contest has
hardly begun. A Bunker Hill or a Bull Run does not end the war.

He who opened _an Arena_ must keep it open, and like "the God of
battles" wait for the best cause to win.

Suppose it be found, as we propose to begin to show here and now, that
Nationalism, under the laws of Sociology, is not the murder, but in
fact and theory, the only condition of liberty, and the only way out
from social suicide,--what then? Would it not have been better for THE
ARENA to have been kept open, as if by the aforesaid Deity, with a
level head and a stiff and silent upper lip?

For the Reverend and exultant Mr. Savage his exasperating situation is
his excuse. For, with the inbred and lethal instinct of a Theolog he
was put upon the trail of a brother Theolog to bring in his scalp. To
return without _some_ scalp would be a disgrace. But on coming up with
his reverend brother Bellamy, instead of finding him ready for fight
or "treed, like Capt. Scott's coon," he finds him already down and
explaining in the blandest style: That, whereas, "this difficulty" was
a secular one, not at all theological, but quite within the bounds of
"the Knowable," there was really no necessity for one brother to scalp
the other, although both were clergymen. He even proposed ways by
which the manifest benefit of both, and of all, could be secured if
they should hunt together, being sure to go no further than such
benefit justified. But an accommodation was just what the Reverend
Savage was not out to find. Shaking his war feathers, he says, "You
are too fair,--I must kill you, _or something_, though it may be
'cruelty to animals.' Stop,--I sniff 'paternalism'! It must be you or
yours!" And without waiting for an answer he bangs away at that old
skunk which hasn't a friend on this side of the world. Then, inflamed
by smell of powder, blood, or something worse, he goes it wild,
mistakes even the good social domestic animals for wild beasts, and
his reverend friend as their protector. His slaughter of these purely
imaginary enemies is accompanied by a self-approving wit, which only
exhales when, as Mephisto says, the Parson and Comedian are happily
combined, and inspire each other. But, alas! neither prayers nor
laughter can settle the industrial and political difficulties of our
day. They may do, and are doing, much to prevent such settlement,
which must come from people who do not live in another world, and
therefore are not free to ignore or to make a joke of this. There is
hope, therefore, when our reverend friend "ties his legs," and in his
said article settles down to steady numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4. For by them,
we can at least get hold of him, and all points in his prior antics
can be thereunder disposed of.

He delivers his first fire, thus:--

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

Most true! But that is half of the truth. If you had told the other
half your article could not have been written, for it would have been
answered beforehand from a to z. The other half is: That the rise of
the individual has always been because of, and the result of, the
concomitant and ever-increasing Socialism. The two have ever gone, and
must ever go, hand in hand. Integration is the inevitable counterpart
of individuation.

This is the fundamental law of history and Sociology, recognized the
world over, as much as the law of gravitation. To blink it, is to go
wild or blind. This is the law of progress upon which all human
affairs expand, and there is scarcely a difference in wording it.
For instance, in the last book out on "Economics,"--that of
Prof. George Gunton, he says (p. 22): "Progress is an _integrating_
differentiation. Only that differentiation is progressive which
results in _new_ integrations and greater complexity of social
relations." Comte's, and Fiske's, and Herbert Spencer's statements of
the same law are the same in substance, but too well known to quote
here. So Professor Huxley in his "Administrative Nihilism," Henry
George in "Social Problems," and indeed pretty much everybody who
touches the subject, except Mr. Savage. He, however, has the grace to
admit that "The world began in Socialism,"--and, by the law referred
to, it will continue in an ever-enlarging, integrating Socialism, till
the rise of "the complete individual" will result. Yes, man's origin
was social; from the "Social Anthropoids,"--says Professor Huxley; and
to omit the continuance of this social fact and law in sociology is
worse than talking pre-Copernican astronomy. That should be left to
our metaphysical anarchists, who chatter as if man was a solitarily
created "Adam," defying the social "compact" of Rousseau, or dickering
as to the terms upon which he will "come in."

From Henry C. Carey's noble work, "Social Science," Americans should
have heard, if not read, enough of this law of enlarging integration
never to forget it, or to let those address them who have. He
illustrates it not only by human history, but by the fundamental law
of biology from Oken, Goethe, and the evolutionists generally. This
application has been continued by them to the present day; the last
instance I noticed is that of Prof. Ernst Hæckel, translated in Dr.
Paul Carus' late work, "The Soul of Man." This law measures the
progress of organisms from the homogeneous jelly-fish to the complex
elephant or man; from the savage tribe to the Roman Empire, or the
future "Federation of Mankind and Parliament of the World."
Integration is the mother, nurse, and protector of the individual.

In history and politics this law stands, however expressed or applied,
as the door which opens to the mental vision, the river of human
evolution and progress,--a sight grander far than Niagara. Those who
see not this fact, law, vision!--are socially blind.

In industrial and economic evolution the same law of progress holds.
The tribal homogeneous industry, when one man did work at everything,
became heterogeneous, special, and complex, as society enlarged and
advanced into higher integrations, and as the life of the individual
became more and more advanced through Fetichism, Polytheism,
Monotheism, to our modern inception of Humanism.

Do you stop this lecture to say that all this is a truism--a

Yes, but everybody who talks against Nationalism forgets it. So follow
a step farther.

"People will buy where they can buy the cheapest." But the cheapest
can only result from the highest integration of capital, machinery,
labor, intellect, and means of _wholesale_ production. Thus industrial
integration and progressive civilization, where the people can have
the means of a higher life, are indispensable parts and complements of
each other. But the result and the difficulty is, that _while_ the
people get their travel, oil, sugar, and necessities of life cheaper
and better than ever, they become the dependents, wage-slaves, and
political and social underlings of the _industrial Feudal System_
which that integration of transporting and producing monopolies builds
up. For, those who can and do combine to control the conditions of the
people's life and welfare have the people and their Republic in their
power. Under the integration of the Roman Empire and Papacy the
"Republic" was continued, but as a name only.

The lesson of history is, that Republics and Liberty always go down
when the necessary integrations of civilization and progress, military
or other, pass from the control of the people. In a word monopoly in
war, politics, industry, or in any form of integration, has been the
murder of Liberty, ending in social suicide. Nationalism proposes to
prevent this murder and suicide under the law above stated, thus:
Whenever the necessary transportation and production are integrated
into monopolies beyond the power of competition to control them, then
the people must control and operate them, or become the dependents of
those who do. Such is the difficulty, the danger, and the remedy,
concisely stated. Critics like Mr. Savage can only reply: "The
difficulty does not exist; the remedy is worse than the disease; there
is a better remedy." But Mr. Savage admits the difficulty. In an
evasive way he says, "the industrial condition of the world is not all
that one could wish." But he has no remedy, and concludes by saying
the remedy proposed would kill the patient sooner than the disease.
This is the diagnosis of an ostrich who tries to escape by burying his
head in the sand. It simply abandons the patient and there is no
solution, no health in that. Let our lecture proceed and see if there
is not a scientific remedy.

"Capital is the condition of production and the controlling factor of
modern civilization." Those who control it are the masters of the
world. The contest of the monopolists of this capital with the workers
and producers, that is, the people, is a burning fever which can only
end by the healthy triumph of the people. There is not a railroad,
mine, or factory, where this is not the daily issue upon which an
internecine war is being waged or smothered. In literature, religion,
politics, economics, ethics, everything turns upon the relations of
these contending parties, from the Pope's Encyclical to the Platform
of the People's Party. When we speak of our age, as the age of iron,
silver, gold, or of steam, electricity, intellect!--we simply say it
is the age of integrated capital, material and mental. To destroy this
capital is impossible, and if possible would be the suicide of

The question then urges upon us in every direction: Shall the people
become the slaves of this capital, or its masters? The watchman on the
towers of our Boston Zion who fails to see the gathering storm clouds
seems strangely out of place, when we recall 1775 and 1861.
Nationalism says, the "Conflict is irrepressible," between labor and
individualized capital; and that the conflict will be fatal to
liberty, unless a remedy is found under the law of our national
evolution. This remedy that law gives as follows: That the people must
defend their liberties and "the rise of the individual," against this
industrial despotism of money kings, railroad barons, political
bosses, etc., better than they defended themselves against the foreign
tyrants in 1775, or the slaveocrats of 1861,--to-wit, by organizing an
army for their _peaceful_ protection and safety--_A free Army of
Industry_--before an army _for war_ shall be needed, and as its

But this name, "Army of Industry," fills our peaceful Mr. Savage with
horror--a remedy worse than the disease? For thus he lets off his
second charge:--

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

Mr. Savage has been taking novels and poetry literally, and has gone
into a fright at a ghost raised by his own excited imagination; or
else, he makes an objection out of a figure of speech because hard up
for a real one. Who does not see that an "industrial army" has nothing
to do with a military army, or a military despotism, except to prevent
both. There is no war, military compulsion, or "military" at all, in
the army of peace. The word "army" is short poetry for the order,
economy, punctuality, and reliable co-operation and co, not
_sub_-ordination of the public administration of industries. Remember
that we are in America, where this administration will be quite
different from that proposed in Europe where the Revolution of 1776
was not, and where "government" is one of divine right, authority, and
force, and covers the all of life from the cradle to the grave.

Nationalism is purely an American product, to be exercised as a
popular benefit, and having no mainspring or motive power but that. It
is the co-operation and co-ordination of equal partners, and while by
a figure of speech _fraternalism_ might be used to describe it,
_paternalism_ can never be properly so used. When Mr. Savage says, or
implies otherwise, he is simply imposing upon, or trading upon an
ignorance he ought to correct. He must know that the attempt to load
up American Nationalism with European despotism, Paternalism, or even
Socialism, is to bear false witness against his neighbor.

Before writing on this subject, he must have become acquainted with
the late writings of Prof. Richard T. Ely, and _The New Nation_ of
Edward Bellamy, whose standing motto is: "The industrial system of a
nation, as well as its political system, ought to be a government of
the people, by the people, for the people." And further it says (Aug.
1, p. 426): "This step necessarily implies that under the proposed
national industrial system, the nation should be no respecter of
persons in its industrial relations with its members, but that the law
should be, as already it is in its political, judicial, and military
organization,--from all equally; to all equally." Equality,
Fraternity, Liberty, are the words.

Pages with similar import can be cited from every exponent of
Nationalism. It all means that our "government" will not be of force
or of authoritarianism, but simply public conveniences and needs
regularly secured, without being farmed out by franchise laws to
monopolistic corporations for their benefit.

Notice further, that the extension of this government--action of the
people is not to do nor to extend to everything nor to anything, but
to the _material needs_ and _industries_ of the people, beginning with
those natural monopolies like railroads and telegraphs, ending with
trusts, etc., which have passed beyond competition. This simple limit
makes the cry of "universal despotism" absurd. The tyranny and robbery
of the few is simply abolished by the people, in equitably resuming
the franchise granted by them, and doing the work for all cheaper and
better. There is no tyranny to the few in this; and as to the many or
all,--the tyranny of having things you want done for you is laughable.
Our anarchists invariably submit to the tyranny of our free
nationalized Brooklyn Bridge instead of swimming the river, or using
the ferry company, as they are at full liberty to do. We had a hard
fight to get this bridge, for it displaced monopolies. When the other
monopolies, we have referred to, are displaced by the people, there
will be the same wonder that their tyrannies and exactions were ever
submitted to. We have found, and will find, that that government is
the best which serves and administers the most, for it will cost and
restrain the least. The government that serves and protects the people
will not need to compel them. Now its main business is to hold them
down while they are being robbed.

But, says Mr. Savage, these advantages would be attended by a
frightful "paradise of officialism"--a helpless subordination--in
which "the individual if not an officer would only count one!" We
cannot appreciate the horror of having more of "a paradise" about
officialism than we have in our present corrupt, inconstant, and
servile system of political Bossism, even if the individual could only
"count one." But Mr. Savage does know, or ought to know, that the very
first step of Nationalism is to nationalize our "politics," so as to
restore the initiative of political action to the people, and render
the abuses to which he refers impossible. He seems to suppose that
Nationalism is to be executed by Tammany Hall! Indeed, his capital as
an opponent of Nationalism consists in loading it up with European
paternalism and American political corruption, both of which it was
invented to render impossible. Suppose the "politics" of New York
were nationalized so that the City should no longer be a mere annex of
Tammany Hall, but so that every citizen might "count one," under legal
provisions for the vote and expression of the people without regard to
party or boss--who would be wronged? Politics must be annexed to our
government by such legal provisions, instead of being left to boss
monopoly or mobocracy. There is no freedom possible without a common
law and order to ensure and protect it. The trouble is now that all of
our politics are _outside_ of any law or order. "Count one!" Even that
is now impossible. We don't count at all, no more than if we lived in
Russia. But how many does Mr. Savage want an individual to count? His
idea of political freedom seems to be that of our old "free" Fire
Department, which was a monopoly entirely "voluntary." It gave us a
fire and _free_ fight nearly every night, developed its "Big Six"
Tweed into a "statesman," and consolidated Tammany Hall into the model
political "combine" of the world--as a monopoly. The custom is to
dispose of the offices of the people as profitably as it can _with
safety_, and to divide the proceeds for the benefit of the combine.
One of our purest and best judges publishes his last contribution as
$10,000, besides his other election expenses. This is the model to
which the State and Nation _must_ conform, for such is the condition
of success. Under that plan Governor Hill manages the State of New
York, and President Harrison, through "Boss" Platt, has just removed
Collector Erhardt from the New York custom house, under the imperative
necessity of the same method.

As long as our Government is run by partisan politics, outside of law,
there is no other alternative but this way or defeat. The pretence,
under this method, of civil service reform or fair tenure is sheer
hypocrisy. The Tammany method is the only condition of success, and
every practical politician knows it and adopts it. Nationalism
proposes the only remedy. It would remove every department from
political control, and restore the political initiative to the people
by requiring their common action under general laws for that purpose,
and suppressing as criminal the Boss conspiracy system, which causes
the counting of less than one by anyone. Do you say it cannot be done?
Well! look at that Fire Department. The indignation of "the State"
finally replaced it by a paid civil service, "nationalized"
department. Since then our fire affairs have run cheaply, effectively,
smoothly, though in a most trying environment. Fires seldom occur, and
seldom extend beyond the building in which they occur. The old abuses,
political and other, have stopped. The men, appointed and promoted for
merit, are highly respected and secured against causeless removal,
accident, sickness, and old age. "Helpless subordination" ended by an
appeal to the law which gave prompt redress. The heads of the
departments and the officers count one and the attempt to count more
would be an assumption not submitted to for a moment, for no one
_needs_ to submit. Extend this method _mutatis mutandis_ over our
Cities, States, and Nation, _and_ also over legalized political
election departments for the whole people,--and the nail will be hit
on the head! The last nail in the coffin of party monopoly and

To excuse himself from not aiding this reform Mr. Savage cries,
visionary, unpracticable! Thus he says:--

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

All this shows Mr. Savage to be strangely misinformed. The Rev.
Francis Bellamy is right. Every impartial person does want the kind of
Nationalism Nationalists are after, as soon as their minds are
disabused of this foolish talk about military despotism, and helpless
subordination, etc., for every one can see that it works for the
liberty, equality, and welfare of all.

Misinformed, is the word for Mr. Savage. For if he had kept but one
eye on this world, as Humboldt said every well regulated chameleon and
priest is in the habit of doing, he would have known that every word
of this "No. 3," above quoted, is exactly wrong: To wit: The other
kind of Nationalism, which is not military despotism, has not only
been definitely talked about but definitely put in practice, not only
in the New York Fire Department, but in our schools, roads, canals,
waterworks, post-office, and in many other ways the world over! And
never ("hardly ever") has monopoly been able to recover its chance to
tyrannize and rob!

"No definite talk"! Yet our present Postmaster-General is asking
Congress for the postal telegraph; and the Interstate Commerce Law is
to be made practical to head off the People's Party? Let Mr. Savage
pick up the very same August ARENA which contains his article, and
read the clear and definite articles of _C. Wood Davis_, "Should the
Nation own the Railways?" and of _R. B. Hassell_, on "Money at Cost,"
and then tell the Editor with a straight face that _they_ are not
"clear enough to be clearly discussed!" The facts, laws, and arguments
are definitely _there_, and clearly discussed. Why have we not the
discerning eyes and impartial brains of Mr. Savage to read them?

We ask Mr. Savage to bring such eyes and brains to bear, and we defy
him to show any other plan by which the fatal monopolies, which are
_natural_ or _beyond_ competition, can be usefully and safely checked,
controlled, or destroyed. The attempts to do this by legal
prosecutions have notoriously failed. How to replace monopolies and
yet increase the benefits they have conferred is _the_ question of our
age, and Nationalism answers it. Mr. Savage, as we have shown, admits
the difficulty. We are entitled then to a practical answer, or to
silence. Ridicule, however witty, is neither answer nor remedy.

But instead of silence we have his amusing "fourth and lastly,"

"4. Nationalism, as commonly understood, could mean nothing else but
the tyranny of the commonplace."

The way in which Nationalism is _commonly_ understood or
misunderstood, is not the question; but how is it _correctly_
understood,--that is the concern of every fair mind. When thus
understood it seems to be just what Mr. Savage wants. For he agrees
with Mr. Bellamy that if "it is only what everybody freely wishes
done," then it would be his "individualism" and all right. Thus he
approves of democracy; for, he says, "it only looks after certain
public affairs, while the main part of the life of the individual is
free." This is Nationalism to a dot! Yet he strangely concludes: "That
Nationalism, _freely chosen_, would be the murder of Liberty, and
social suicide." But if "freely chosen" will it not be the same as his
individualism? and what everybody wants,--and so all right? Such would
be his democracy certainly, but then how can this Nationalism also
"freely chosen" commit murder _and_ suicide, and both at once?
Strange! That certainly would not be the tyranny of the commonplace.

Neither would Nationalism in any correct sense be such tyranny; and
for these reasons:--

1. Government would for the first time in the history of the world,
evolve beyond paternalism. It would be industrial cooperative
administration, for the equal benefit of all, protection of the
liberty of all, and such defence and restraint only as these main
objects require. Government would thus be the material foundation upon
which liberty, originality, and the original--the uncommonplace--could
stand and be protected. The key to liberty is the "separation of the
temporal and spiritual powers;" but Nationalism does even more than
that. It limits Government to the provision of the common needs
of all, and then protects all, in the enjoyment of their
"uncommon-place." Read for instance the remarkable article of _Oscar
Wilde_ on "_The Soul of Man under Socialism_." He expresses the
feeling of the artists and poets of the world. They want Nationalism
so that originality and free healthy development may at last have a
chance,--and an audience. What the people need in order to become an
audience is the same thing that originality needs, emancipation from
drudgery and from the dependence of parasitism.

2. This emancipation can come only from the great saving of time and
of waste by Nationalism; and the division of labor by which it will
enable each to follow the occupation to which he is inclined, and to
which he will be the best prepared by nature and education. Man is an
active animal, and the condition of life is that of some work. _Now_
the work is imposed by the tyranny of man and circumstances; then it
will be rather a matter of choice. In the _order_ instead of the
anarchy of industry there will be some relief. To use the grand
prophecy of Fourier:--

     "When the series distributes the harmonies,
      The attractions will determine the destinies."

Given a material foundation for man and his education, so that he may
have the mental and material means of acting his part, and continuing
his development, then the individual will have inherited an
environment in which life will be worth living, and which only the
favored inherit now. Civilization will certainly have ever new demands
in order to equate its ever changing conditions; and ambition,
heroism, and originality will simply rise to newer and higher fields.
The idea that the temporal state will not continue to encourage and
protect liberty, genius, and originality is most absurd. That has been
its general course against the sects and monopolists of religion and
opinion which have ever been the persecutors. Mr. Savage throws down a
queer jumble of names, viz.: "Homer, Virgil, Isaiah, Jesus, Dante,
Shakespeare, Angelo, Copernicus, Galileo, Goethe, Luther, Servetus,
Newton, Darwin, Spencer, and Galvani,"--and says, "consider them,"
where would they have been before the "governing board" of
Nationalism? We consider and answer: every one of them would have been
free, and protected and encouraged in the exercise of his highest

Even under such defective government as _then_ existed, each had its
aid and support, and each was persecuted by the monopolistic sects and
factions sure to get authority in the absence of some general temporal
control, which is absolutely necessary for the purpose of protecting
freedom of thought, of expression, and of action. From Homer's
chieftain, Virgil's emperor, Goethe's duke, on to the end of the list,
we owe all they have done for us to the _temporal_ governments of
their time, with a possible exception of Spencer, more apparent than
real. Even the Roman Pilate (if we are to take the reports?) let Jesus
have a freedom to tramp and preach in Palestine that would not be
allowed in Boston for a day, and then stood by him, and when
compelled, by the unnationalized nature of his office, to give up to
the Anthony Comstocks and the priestly Monopolists and Pharisees of
that day, he nobly said, "I find no fault in him," and publicly washed
his hands of the whole bloody affair. So was it with Servetus.
Temporal, much less a nationalized, Switzerland would have rescued him
from the clutches of the Calvinistic monopoly of Geneva. "Toleration?"
repeats Mr. Savage tauntingly. We reply, yes! We want a general
temporal government which will protect liberty, and ensure that every
priest, sect, fanatic, and phase of thought and opinion shall
_tolerate_ every other. This Nationalism only can do.

We insist, and have for years, that the government monopolies of
opinions, morals, and force, farmed out to amateur societies of
Comstocks and Pinkertons, should be withdrawn. If necessary to public
safety, let power be exercised _only_ by the government directly
responsible to the people. It is this attempt to govern by monopolies
in the interest of sects or industrial classes that gave rise to every
one of the abuses to which the editor of THE ARENA has well called
attention as "outrages of government." They are only outrages of
government _by_ monopolies _for_ monopolies, and which it is the
fundamental condition and mission of Nationalism to end forever. In
all these cases, and in every case, the advocates and apologists of
Anarchy, or of _Laissez-faire_ must not mistake their position, they
are inevitably _the allies of the oppressor_. The integration of
special classes, sects, and interests, is the natural law making
"toleration" more and more impossible. The integral integration, then,
of all for the equal support, and for the equal protection of all, in
mutual harmony and progress, is the only condition of our liberty,
peace, and safety. No rule in Arithmetic is plainer than this law of
Sociology, and Nationalism is its expression.



          [5] Copyright by Charles H. Pattee.

In offering to the public my recollections of old play-bills I cannot
be said to be travelling over familiar ground. For it is worthy of
remark that while many bygone periods of theatrical history have found
their chroniclers, their panegyrists, their enthusiastic remembrances,
the space filled by the events of the Boston stage of 1852 to the
present day has remained without a comprehensive survey, without a
careful retrospect of its many notable and brilliant illustrations. To
supply this void, to endeavor at once to preserve the memories of past
grandeurs (already fading with the generation who enjoyed them), and
to furnish to the younger portion of theatre-goers some conception of
what the stage has been in its "palmy days," I have employed my
leisure in putting together this history of old play-bills. The
changes which have overspread modern society, vast and manifold as
they are admitted to be, are, perhaps, nowhere more perceptible than
in the region known as the theatrical world. To one who has formed a
link in that chain which formerly connected the higher ranks of
society with the taste for dramatic art--with the cultivation of the
beautiful and imaginative in both opera and drama--to such a one the
contemplation of the altered relations now between the patrons of the
drama and the ministers of art suggest many comparisons. The first
stage performance I ever witnessed will not easily be forgotten. It
took place in the Boston Museum in 1850; the plays were "Speed the
Plough," and a local drama (now happily banished from the stage)
called "Rosina Meadows." Thomas Comer, who was leader of the Museum
orchestra, a gentleman, actor, and musician, took me under his charge
and seated me in the orchestra near the bass-drum and cymbals, where I
remained until the end of the performance. The time flew in unalloyed
delight until the fatal green curtain shut out all hope of future
enjoyment. William Warren, W. H. Sedley Smith, Louis Mestayer, J. A.
Smith, Adelaide Phillips, Louisa Gann, who became the wife of Wulf
Fries, the celebrated 'cello player, residing in Boston, Mrs. Judah
and Mr. and Mrs. Thoman, all of whom are dead with the exception of J.
A. Smith, who is now an inmate of the Forrest Home in Holmesburg,
Penn., and Mrs. Thoman, who was a charming actress, and for several
seasons a great favorite with the Museum patrons. She was divorced
from Thoman and became the wife of a Mr. Saunders, a lawyer residing
in San Francisco, who died some years since. Mrs. Saunders is now
living in the above city in retirement, and through the kindness of
her cousin, Joseph Jefferson, is enjoying the ease of a genteel

William Warren and Adelaide Phillips were the first performers who
ever made a lasting impression upon me. William Warren, great as an
artist and as a man. With pleasure do I pause from the record of
events to present a description of the illustrious actor. He has now
passed away, and to future generations the faithful description of one
who delighted their fathers, and who can never be replaced, will
surely prove welcome. He made his first appearance in Boston at the
Howard Athenæum, Oct. 5, 1846, as Sir Lucius O'Trigger in the "Rivals"
(the same character that W. J. Florence is now personating with the
Jefferson combination). Mr. Warren remained at the Athenæum but one
season, and during that time commanded the admiration of his
audiences. Mr. Charles W. Hunt, a very good actor, had held the
position of comedian at the Boston Museum for several seasons, but
owing to some misunderstanding, left the establishment. Mr. Warren was
engaged to fill the vacancy, and on the night of the 23d of August,
1847, he made his first appearance on the stage of the Museum as Billy
Lackaday in the old comedy of "Sweethearts and Wives," and as Gregory
Grizzle in the farce of "My Young Wife and Old Umbrella," and from
that time, with the exception of one year's recession (1864-5) to the
termination of the season of 1882-3, was a member of the Museum
company. Thirty-six years is a long test applied to modern performers,
and he that could pass such an ordeal of time, must possess merits of
the very highest order, such as could supersede the call for novelty,
and make void the fickleness of general applause. All this Warren
effected. The public, so far from being wearied at the long-continued
cry of Warren, elevated him, if possible, into greater favoritism
yearly. But his place is not to be supplied. No other actor can half
compensate his loss. Independent of his faculties as an actor, so
great a lover was he of his art that he would undertake with delight a
character far beneath his ability. Other actors will not condescend to
do this or else fear to let themselves down by doing so. Warren had no
timidities about assuming a lesser part, nor did he deem it
condescension. Artists of questionable greatness may deem it a
degradation to personate any save a leading part. Warren felt that he
did not let himself down, he raised the character to his own
elevation. From this it follows that no great actor within my
recollection had undertaken such a variety of characters. He was found
in every possible grade of representation. His acting forms a pleasant
landing place in my memory. As I wander backward, no other actor has
ever so completely exemplified my idea of what a genuine comedian
ought to be. He gained the highest honors that could be bestowed upon
him in Boston, and established his claim to be considered one of the
most chaste and finished of American actors. From Sir Peter Teazle to
John Peter Pillicoddy, from Jesse Rural to Slasher, from Haversack to
Box and Cox, he was equally great and efficient. I have heard it
remarked that the late W. Rufus Blake stood without a rival as Jesse
Rural, while Henry Placide was the best of Sir Peter Teazles. Never
having witnessed the performances of those gentlemen, I am unable to
speak of their merits, as older writers have sounded their praises for
a generation. Saturday, Oct. 28, 1882, was the fiftieth anniversary of
Mr. Warren's adoption of the stage. The entertainment consisted of an
afternoon and evening performance. The "Heir at Law," constituted the
bill for the day performance, and "School for Scandal," was given in
the evening. It was impossible indeed for the arrangements to be more
perfectly accomplished. The character of the audiences was even more
gratifying than its numbers. Never had been such an assemblage in any
theatre. A great number of elderly persons, both men and women,
interspersed with the younger people, gave a beautiful shading to the
amphitheatre picture, as it was seen from the boxes. It was a tribute
of respect to one who had been so long the pride of Boston. As a
matter of record I give the complete cast of the plays:--

                     HEIR AT LAW.

  Dr. Pangloss                         Wm. Warren
  Dick Doulas                        Chas. Barron
  Zekiel Homespun                   George Wilson
  Daniel Doulas                         A. Hudson
  Kenrick                              Jas. Nolan
  Steadfast                            J. Burrows
  Henry Moreland                      J. B. Mason
  John                                   Fred Ham
  Waiter                       J. S. Maffitt, Jr.
  Cicely Homespun                    Annie Clarke
  Deborah Doulas               Mrs. J. R. Vincent
  Caroline Dormer                  Norah Bartlett

                  SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL.

  Sir Peter Teazle                 William Warren
  Charles Surface                    Chas. Barron
  Joseph Surface                       Geo. Parks
  Sir Oliver Surface                    A. Hudson
  Sir Benjamin                        J. B. Mason
  Crabtree                            Geo. Wilson
  Moses                               Wm. Seymour
  Careless                  Geo. C. Boniface, Jr.
  Rowley                               J. Burrows
  Trip                                   J. Nolan
  Snake                                    F. Ham
  Sir Harry                     J. S. Maffit, Jr.
  Servant to Joseph                  A. R. Whytal
  Servant to Lady Sneerwell           Geo. Cohill
  Lady Teazle                        Annie Clarke
  Mrs. Candour                       Mrs. Vincent
  Marion                           Norah Bartlett
  Lady Sneerwell                        Kate Ryan

Mr. Warren remained at the Museum during the entire season, and made
his last appearance on any stage as old Eccles in "Caste," in May,
1883. From that time to the day of his death, which sad event occurred
Sept. 21, 1888, Mr. Warren made Boston his home, residing at No. 2
Bulfinch Place, the residence of Amelia Fisher, where he had lived
since the departure of his cousin, Mrs. Thoman, for California, in
1854. Mr. Warren left property to the value of a quarter of a million
dollars. He made no public bequests, but bequeathed his entire estate
to his relatives. Who is there in Boston that has not heard of Miss
Amelia Fisher, the "dear old lady" of Bulfinch Place, where she has
lived so many years, and at whose hospitable board so many have been
welcomed? Miss Fisher, accompanied by her sisters Jane, afterwards
Mrs. Vernon, who was for many years the "first old woman" of the New
York stage, and Clara, afterwards Mrs. Gaspard Maeder, married in
America in 1827, and made her début at the Park Theatre, N. Y.,
singing a duet, "When a Little Farm We Keep," with William Chapman.
Miss Fisher was for several seasons attached to the Tremont Theatre in
Boston, and although possessing respectable abilities both as singer
and actress, never attained the prominent place in the profession
accorded to her more talented sisters. Miss Fisher retired from the
stage in 1841, and for some years was a teacher of dancing in Boston.
For over thirty-seven years Miss Fisher has entertained at her home a
swarm of dramatic celebrities. Here Mr. and Mrs. James W. Wallack,
Charles Couldock, Peter Richings and his daughter Caroline, Mrs. John
Hoey, and Fanny Morant, dined together where, in later days, Joseph
Jefferson, George Honey (the celebrated English comedian), Ada Rehan,
Annie Pixley, Mr. and Mrs. McKee Rankin, and Mr. and Mrs. Byron, ate
their supper in the old kitchen, and were merry with wit and song.
Since the death of Mr. Warren, Miss Fisher has not enjoyed good
health, although her hospitable board is still surrounded by her
friends and guests.

With the name of Adelaide Phillips there are many dear associations.
When at seven or eight years of age I went to see her at the Boston
Museum, the days she began to sing in "Cinderella" and the "Children
of Cyprus." How the old days rise up before me now. She was then in
the spring of life, fresh, bright, and serene as a morning in May,
perfect in form, her hands and her arms peculiarly graceful, and
charming in her whole appearance. She seemed to speak and sing without
effort or art. All was nature and harmony. Miss Phillips was a great
favorite in Boston where she made her début at the Tremont Theatre in
January, 1842, in the play of "Old and Young," personating five
characters, and introducing songs and dances. Although very youthful,
she displayed great aptness and evinced remarkable musical talent. On
the 25th of September, 1843, she first appeared on the boards of the
Boston Museum, which then stood at the corner of Tremont and Bromfield
Streets, where the Horticultural Hall now stands. The character which
she assumed was Little Pickle in the "Spoiled Child." At the opening
of the present Museum, Nov. 2, 1846, Miss Phillips was attached to
the company as actress-danseuse, and doing all the musical work
necessary in the plays of that time. She was a most attractive member
of the company, and as Morgiana (Forty Thieves), Lucy Bertram (Guy
Mannering), Fairy of the Oak (Enchanted Beauty) was greatly admired.
Her first decided success was as Cinderella. She was now about
eighteen years of age, and the tones of her voice were rich and pure.
She did not aim at "stage effect," and her singing and acting were
exquisite. At that time, 1850-51, Jenny Lind was in Boston. Miss
Phillips was introduced and sang to her, and her singing was so
brilliant, so ringing, so finished, that her hearer was astonished,
and uttered exclamations of delight. The noble-hearted Jenny sent her
a check for a thousand dollars, and a letter recommending Emanuel
Garcia, who had been her own teacher, as the best instructor, and amid
all the triumphs of her professional career, the affection and
kindness which was showered upon her by Mlle. Lind, and her Boston
friends, who came forward to show their willingness to aid Miss
Phillips, was never effaced from her mind. After remaining abroad
several years, she returned to Boston, appearing at the Boston Theatre
Dec. 3, 1855, as Count Belino, in the opera of the "Devil's Bridge,"
supported by the popular favorite, Mrs. John Wood. She first appeared
here in Italian opera a year later as Azucena in "Il Trovatore,"
Madame La Grange being the Leonora. In this opera Miss Phillips was
heard with great effect and never were her talents as an actress more
conspicuously displayed. At the conclusion of the performance, the
favorite singer received an ovation, applause rang through the
theatre; the emotion which was evinced by her friends and admirers was
evidently shared by herself. The character of Azucena remained a
favorite one with Miss Phillips to the last. The characters in which
she excelled were Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia), Rosina (Barber of
Seville), and Leonora (Favorita). In 1879, she joined the Ideal Opera
Company, and carried into it her vocal and dramatic culture. She
continued with this company until December, 1881, when she made her
last appearance on any stage in Cincinnati. Her last appearance in
Boston was at the Museum, the home of her earlier triumphs, in the
role of Fatinitza, a few months before her departure for the West in
1880. Ill health compelled her to relinquish all her engagements, and
on the 12th of August, 1882, accompanied by her sister-in-law, Mrs.
Adrian Phillips, who was the Arvilla in the early days of the Museum,
sailed for Paris. After a few days' rest in that city, they reached
Carlsbad, and took apartments at Konig's Villa, a pension for
invalids. A few weeks thus passed until suddenly, on Oct. 3, 1882, the
change came, and Adelaide Phillips was gone. The death of this gifted
and good woman produced a painful sensation in Boston, and, indeed,
all over the country she was deeply regretted. In private life she was
amiable and kind-hearted, ever ready to assist the distressed. By her
family and friends she was idolized, by the public she was respected
for the purity of her life, and admired for her talents. Herewith I
give a copy of the "bill" of Miss Phillips' last benefit at the
Museum, prior to her departure for Europe.

                    BOSTON MUSEUM.


   Re-engagement of the eminent artists, MR. CHARLES
                 PITT and MRS. BARRETT.

             FRIDAY EVENING, JUNE 27, 1851.

                   THE HONEYMOON.

  Duke Aranza                          C. D. Pitt
  Rolando                             L. Mestayer
  Jacques                               W. Warren
  Lampedo                            J. W. Thoman
  Count                               J. A. Smith
  Balthazar                          J. L. Monroe
  Lopez                                G. H. Finn
  Campillo                             A. Bradley
  Lupez                              S. F. Palmer
  Juliana                            Mrs. Barrett
  Volante                             Mrs. Thoman
  Zamora                   Miss Adelaide Phillips

  In which she will sing "Ah, What Full Delight," from
           the opera of the "Bohemian Girl."

  Hostess                               Miss Rees

              Fancy dance - Miss Arvilla.
    Comic dance - Masters Adrian and Fred Phillips.

                    Conclude with

                  THE SWISS COTTAGE.

  Corporal Max                        L. Mestayer
  Nat. Tick                             W. Warren
  Lisette                  Miss Adelaide Phillips

  In which she will sing "France, I Adore Thee," and
                 "Liberty for Me."

A great attraction in Boston, way back in the fifties, was Anna Cora
Mowatt. Her engagements were always very successful, the theatre being
crowded with fashionable and intelligent audiences. Mrs. Mowatt was
not a great actress. Delicacy was her most marked characteristic. "A
subdued earnestness of manner, a soft musical voice, a winning
witchery of enunciation, and indeed an almost perfect combination of
beauty, grace, and refinement fitted her for a class of characters in
which other actresses were incapable of excelling." Mrs. Mowatt was
born at Bordeaux, France, during the temporary residence there of her
parents about 1820. She married very young, and for a short time
enjoyed every luxury that wealth could purchase. Her husband's
bankruptcy drove her to the stage, where she made her first appearance
at the Park Theatre as Pauline, in "Lady of Lyons," June 13, 1845. Her
engagements here in Boston were played at the Howard Athenæum, then
under the management of Mr. Wyzeman Marshall, who still lives, and can
be seen upon the principal streets of Boston almost daily. The
"houses" were very large, tickets being sold at public auction. At the
termination of her engagement she was serenaded at the hotel, and
throughout the country she met with the same flattering reception.
Mrs. Mowatt's favorite roles were Viola, Rosalind, and Parthenia,
characters now fresh in the public mind, made so by Miss Julia
Marlowe. Mrs. Mowatt made her last appearance on the stage at Niblo's
Theatre, N. Y., on the 3d of June, 1854. On the 7th of that month she
became the wife of W. F. Ritchie. Mrs. Ritchie died in Paris a few
years since, where she was much regretted by the social circle of
which she was the admired star.

In 1852, at the National Theatre, which was situated on Portland
Street, Charlotte Cushman commenced her farewell to the stage in the
tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet." Charlotte Cushman was now at the summit
of her art. She was universally allowed to be the greatest tragedienne
of the day. And this recognition was due to her fine genius. She owed
nothing to artifice or meretricious attraction. Nothing was left to
chance, for the indomitable spirit and zealousness with which she had
sustained herself under adverse circumstances had done not a little to
elevate her in the regard of her countrymen and admirers. This was the
first of a series of "farewell engagements," inaugurated by Miss
Cushman, and continued to her real and positive farewell in 1875.

I have always had an objection to ladies personating Romeo, but I
waived that feeling in favor of Miss Cushman. Her personation of Romeo
was beautiful and even pathetic. The passionate grief of young
Montague in the third act was subdued by a tearful pathos. Nothing
could surpass her reading of the character: it was a triumph, and in a
word it would be difficult to conceive anything more grand than this
impersonation. It is difficult to conceive a character more highly
dramatic or more impassioned than that of Lady Macbeth. The conflicts,
emotions, and power of the ambitious queen were portrayed with a
truth, a grandeur of effect, unequalled since by any actress. Miss
Cushman's impersonation of Meg Merriles was one of the finest
illustrations of originality the stage ever witnessed. There was no
effort to resemble the character. She entered the stage the character
itself, transposed into the situation, excited by hope and fear,
breathing the life and the spirit of the being she represented. In my
opinion, when Charlotte Cushman died, so did Meg Merriles, and it will
be many a day before the old gipsy queen will produce that
indescribable effect upon an audience, as in the days of Cushman. At
the Boston Theatre, June 2, 1858, Miss Cushman as Romeo, her farewell
to the stage. At the same theatre, in 1860, another farewell, Miss
Cushman as Romeo, who with the aid of Mrs. Barrow as Juliet, John
Gilbert as Friar Laurence, and Mrs. John Gilbert as the nurse, made up
a very strong cast. Here, at the Howard Athenæum in 1861, then under
the management of that talented actor (who, by the way, was the best
Hamlet I ever saw,) Edgar L. Davenport, Miss Cushman was announced
April 11, 1861, positively her last night in Boston, when Romeo and
Juliet was given with a remarkable cast. E. L. Davenport was the
Mercutio, John Gilbert the Friar, John McCullough, Tybalt, Frank
Hardenbergh, Prince Esculus, Dan Setchell, Peter, W. J. Le Moyne,
Capulet, Miss Josephine Orton (a very brilliant actress, and now the
wife of Benj. E. Woolf, of the _Saturday Evening Gazette_), Juliet,
Mrs. John Gilbert as the nurse (she had no superior in this role), and
Charlotte Cushman as Romeo, truly a fine array of talent, all of whom
have passed away with the exception of Miss Orton and Mr. Le Moyne.
This was Miss Cushman's last performance of Romeo in Boston. In the
spring of 1875, Miss Cushman played another farewell engagement, which
proved in truth a reality. It was at the Globe Theatre, and Saturday,
May 15, 1875, was announced as Miss Cushman's farewell to the stage.
Macbeth was the play, with Miss Cushman as Lady Macbeth. As an event
worth remembering, I give the complete cast:--

  Macbeth                            D. W. Waller
  Macduff                           G. B. Waldron
  Banquo                              Chas. Fyffe
  Malcolm                              Lin Harris
  Duncan                               James Dunn
  Physician                            C. Pierson
  Drunken Porter                       E. Coleman
  Rosse                                 S. Clarke
  Seyter                                G. Conner
  Sergeant                            John Connor
  Donaldbain                          Miss Wilkes
  1st Witch                            E. Coleman
  2d Witch                          Mrs. A. Hayes
  3d Witch                           J. H. Connor
  Gentlewoman                         Miss Athena

A most inefficient company, exceedingly weak in the masculine
department, while the actresses were barely tolerable. The highest
anticipations of a brilliant engagement had been indulged in by the
management, and bitter was their disappointment, and great the chagrin
of Miss Cushman to find that this "positively farewell engagement"
failed to create anything of a furore. The public had been so often
deceived by these announcements, that they failed to respond to the
box office. In this special performance of "Macbeth," Miss Cushman was
hailed with prolonged acclamations. Old admirers were there who still
recollected her when she was the greatest ornament of the stage.
Younger ones assembled to catch the last rays of a genius which had
filled Europe and America with its splendor. The former sought this
memory of days gone by, the latter came to pay deference to the
verdict of a previous generation. At the close of the performance Miss
Cushman was called to the footlights, there to receive the tribute due
to her name and fame from the not over large audience. The spectacle
was interesting, yet it was melancholy, not to say painful, to all who
could feel with true artistic sympathy. Her last appearance was soon
forgotten in the turmoil of dramatic events, but her name still
gleams with traditional lustre in the annals of dramatic fame. Miss
Cushman never again appeared in Boston, for on the 18th day of
February, 1876, she breathed her last at the Parker House, Boston. Her
funeral took place at King's Chapel, in presence of a large concourse
of people, and her body rests in Mount Auburn. Miss Cushman was a very
wealthy woman, but her generosities were not numerous; even the little
Cushman school, named in her honor, was forgotten in her will. Her
relatives (nephews and nieces) reside, I believe, in Newport, R. I.,
and are the sole possessors of her large estate. I omitted to mention
that Charlotte Cushman's last appearance in public was as a reader in
Easton, Penn., June 2, 1875.



When the microscope was first invented, it was regarded as a mere
accessory, a plaything, an unnecessary addition, and an imposition
upon the medical profession and upon the public in general. But since
1840, when the European oculists and scientists began to make
microscopical researches and investigations, not only in the medical
profession, but also in botanical and geological studies, etc., and
since 1870, when, throughout the civilized world, the microscope came
into general use in chemical analysis and other studies, it ceased to
be considered an accessory, and is now regarded as an extremely
necessary apparatus, especially in minute examinations and
investigations; also in the advancement of every branch of science and

Had Galen, Celsus, Hippocrates, and the other great scientists of old,
known the use of the microscope, they would have made no such grave
blunders as in the advocation of the theory that the arteries of the
human body contain and carry air during life, instead of oxygenized
blood only. They were of the erroneous opinion that the blood stayed
in the extremities, not to nourish and sustain the tissues, but simply
to act as a humor in lubricating the same (tissues).

Then, again, had it not been for the microscope, the great English
surgeon and physician, James Paget, would not have discovered that
deadly parasite, the trichina-spiralis, which had already slaughtered
thousands upon thousands of human beings. And yet the existence of
trichina-spiralis may be dated as far back as the time of Moses, who
even then advocated prohibition of the use of pork as a food, and who
considered pork not only an unwholesome food, but dangerous and even

The microscope is certainly the best friend that a scientist can have.
A physician without a microscope is like a man without eyes: he is
uncertain and unprotected and must be considered incompetent, simply
because he cannot arrive at a correct and positive conclusion in
diagnosing and prognosing his case.

The value of the microscope cannot be overestimated, at least in the
examination of the sputa of a human being, and thus being able to
state positively whether or not the man is suffering from consumption
(Tuberculosis). How important it is to be able to state with certainty
at an early date whether or not the patient is suffering from cancer
of the stomach, by examining the vomits microscopically.

The microscope is composed of a simply constructed horse-shoe or
tripod base with a column, tube, reflector, and lenses of different
magnifying powers, ranging from one to five thousand diameters. It is
a most extraordinary and at the same time a most simple apparatus, an
invaluable instrument, whose use any person with a little skill can
learn in a few hours' practice.

Much has already been published of late years concerning the
microscope applied in a medico-legal sense (examinations). This surely
is a very broad field and much remains for future observation and
investigation. Everything that concerns medical examinations in a
legal sense or legal examinations in a medical sense can be
facilitated and accurately determined by the use of the microscope.
For instance, let me call your attention to the world-renowned
"Cronin" case of Chicago, in which the medical experts demonstrated to
a certainty that the blood, hair, and brain matter found in the
Coulson cottage and sewer drop were those of a human being. And what
was still more remarkable they demonstrated by the microscope
accurately and positively that the hair and blood found in the cottage
and fatal trunk were those of the late Dr. Cronin, only in a modified

Without a doubt the microscope is the most advantageous and most
efficacious apparatus that a scientist has ever invented and
constructed. It is an especially powerful factor in enlightening
complex and difficult cases concerning medico-legal examinations,
where the combined efforts of an attorney and an expert microscopist
are required. Within the last decade, scientists have demonstrated to
a certainty the possibility of distinguishing old and dried human
blood spots, whether on clothing, wood, iron, or any other object,
from those of animal blood. Scientists, especially pathologists and
histologists, have demonstrated the great value of the microscope in
distinguishing not only the skin, blood, hair, and brain matter, but
also the excretions and secretions of the human body from those of

Again, the microscope applied in medico-legal practice, particularly
in malpractice suits, suits for damages, those requiring the detection
of adulteration of food or drink, is of the greatest importance. It is
not less valuable in determining the purity of an article, especially
whether or not the food or drink has spoiled or undergone
fermentation, and in detecting the accumulation and development of
microorganisms such as germs, bacilli, etc. Prominent among these uses
are of course the detection of oleomargarine, the adulteration of
drugs, liquors, milk, groceries, sausages, etc.

The utilization of the microscope as a factor in the solution of legal
difficulties is as interesting as it is valuable, and in that
connection I wish to cite a few lines from an exhaustive paper read by
the Hon. Geo. E. Fell, M. D., F. R. M. S., before the American Society
of Microscopists, relating to the "_Examination of Legal Documents
with the Microscope_."

"This subject is of practical importance, in which the value of the
microscope has again and again been demonstrated. On several occasions
have we been enabled to clear the path for justice to ferret out the
work of the contract falsifier, and shield the innocent from the
unjust accusations of interested rogues. The range of observations in
investigations of written documents with the microscope is a broad
one. We may begin with the characteristics of the paper upon which the
writing is made, which may enable us to ascertain many facts of
importance; for instance, a great similarity might indicate, with
associated facts, that the documents were prepared at about the same
time. A marked dissimilarity might also have an important bearing upon
the case. The difference of the paper may exist in the character of
the fibres composing it, the finish of the paper whether rough or
smooth, the thickness, modifying the transmissibility of light, the
color, all of which may be ascertained with the microscope.

"The ink used in the writing may then be examined. If additions have
been made to the document within a reasonable time of its making,
microscopic examination will in all probability demonstrate the
difference by keeping the following facts in view: Some inks in drying
assume a dull, or shining surface; if in sufficient quantity, the
surface may become cracked, presenting, when magnified, an appearance
quite similar, but of a different color, to that of the dried bottom
of a clayey pond after the sun has baked it for a few days. The manner
in which the ink is distributed upon the paper, whether it forms an
even border, or spreads out to some extent, is a factor which may be
also noted. The color of the ink by transmitted or reflected
illumination is also a very important factor. This in one case which I
had in hand proved of great importance and demonstrated the addition
of certain words which completely annulled the value of the document
in a case involving several thousand dollars. And in a certain case
where the lines of a certain document were written over with the idea
of entirely covering the first written words, the different colors of
the inks could not be concealed from the magnified image as seen under
reasonably low powers of the microscope."

The value of the microscope in this field of research is so great and
the facts elicited by it so vital, I wish to emphasize its practical
utility as strongly as possible. Of course the principal object in
such an examination of written or printed documents is the erasures or
additions; then the coloring of different inks applied and the mode of
their execution. As to erasures, this can be accomplished in two ways,
either by the use of a penknife or by a chemical preparation. The
former is the one most commonly resorted to, and is effected in the
following manner. With a well sharpened knife blade the surface of the
paper is carefully scraped until all objectionable lettering and
wording appear to the naked eye to have been effaced; but under a
microscopical examination the impression made by the strokes of the
pen may easily be detected, while the different colors of the inks are
still plainly visible under the microscope.

The second method is by the application of a chemical preparation by
which the ink is made soluble and is then easily removed from the
paper by means of a blotter or absorbent cotton. Of course this method
is also an imperfect one and the letters can easily be traced by close
observation. When a chemical preparation has been used for erasing
purposes, I find that in most cases it leaves a stain and also that
the fibres of the paper are more or less destroyed by the chemical
used; thus always leaving evidence that the document has been tampered

George E. Fell in his excellent paper says: "The eye of the individual
making the erasures is certainly not sufficient, and even with the aid
of a hand magnifier, the object might not be effectually accomplished.
We will find that the detection of an erasure made by the knife is a
very simple matter and may be detected by the novice. An investigation
may be made by simply holding the document before a strong light and
this is usually all that is necessary to demonstrate the existence of
an erasure of any consequence.

"This is, however, a very different matter from making out the
outlines of a word or detecting the general arrangement of the fibres
of the paper, so as to be able to state whether writing has been
executed on certain parts of the document; and again, when we enter
into the minutiæ of the subject, we will find that the compound
microscope will give us results not to be obtained by the simple hand

On several occasions I have had the opportunity for demonstrating with
the microscope additions made to certain documents, two of which were
wills (testaments); these additions were made in the following
manner:--First an erasure was made and then the additional matter
written over the erasure. With the microscope I could at once detect
the erasure beneath the addition; also the different colors of the
inks. Then, and this is the most important result of the microscopical
examination, by close observation, I could discern the strokes of the
pen in the original lettering as well as those of the additional
lettering, and finally the general mode of their execution.

In regard to the examination of legal documents, United States
currency, printed and written matter, mutilated documents, including
forgeries, etc., from a legal point of view (as to their genuineness),
it will suffice to say that the principal features are, as already
stated, first, the detection of erasures and additions; second, the
comparison of the colors of the different inks used in the original
and in the additional lettering, and finally the mode of their
execution. This includes of course a careful observation of the
original writing as to the general and comparative expression. In the
observation of the characteristics of the letters constituting the
document, I will call attention especially to the shading and general
formation of the letters, that is, the stroke of the pen either in a
downward or upward movement. This comparison includes both capital and
small letters and even punctuation.

All these things, as well as the grammatical and orthographical
relationship and comparative differentiations, must be taken into
consideration in order to enable the microscopical examiner to give a
positive opinion.

A microscopical examination of paper documents, such as wills, notes,
checks, etc., as to whether or not they have been mutilated or forged,
is certainly the most reliable test, and by far the easiest and
simplest method of determining the authenticity or spuriousness of a
document. An expert microscopist and observer can at once arrive at a
correct and positive conclusion as to the genuineness of an autograph.

The use of the microscope in the examination of United States currency
is invaluable, and I believe the only perfectly reliable test for
distinguishing counterfeit currency from the genuine bills. In this
examination the following observations are necessary, to the last of
which I wish to call special attention: First, the quality of the
paper used; second, the general execution and finish of the bill;
third, the ink used for the printed reading matter as well as for the
autograph; fourth, the two red lines; these lines in a genuine bill
are produced by two red silk threads woven into the paper, and running
lengthwise of the bill. In a counterfeit bill these lines are not of
silk thread, but are simply two lines drawn with red ink. This is the
crowning test in the detection of counterfeit currency, and I have no
doubt that the same tests will hold good in the examination of foreign



Everybody said he would go to the bad; everybody expected it of him.
Whether it was the fulfilment of the promise, "As thy faith so be it,"
or whether he felt any conscientious obligation resting upon him not
to disappoint public expectation, nobody knows. Nobody was surprised,
however, when news went over the town that Jim Royal was going to the

Going to "the pen" at sixteen years of age. Nobody thought of that.
Moreover, the old Tennessee prison contains scores of boys _under_
sixteen, for that matter; and if they do not work satisfactorily, the
lessees of the prison have made no complaint of them; therefore, they
_do_ work satisfactorily; for the lessees are not likely to pay the
State for the privilege of feeding worthless hands. But as for
vagabond Jim, if anybody thought of him at all, it was something after
this wise:

"Safe place. Keep him out of mischief. Protect other people's boys.
Bad influence, Jim's. Town's scourge. Bad mother before him.
Questionable father. Made to work."

Now there were two considerations in this category, concerning which
the public opinion was exactly correct. More so, indeed, than public
opinion is usually known to be. Namely: Jim would "be made to work."
No doubt about that. There were straps for the obstreperous, the
water-pump for the sullen, the pool for the belligerent, the lash for
the lazy, and for the rebellious--the shotgun.

Oh, yes; Jim would be made to work. The town was quite right about

The other consideration, although not altogether so important, was a
trifle more interesting. Jim's "questionable father"!

It was his mother's fault that public _interest_ (?) was not
gratified. And it never forgave the poor outcast for leaving the
world with that seal of secrecy still unbroken. The heart broke, but
not the seal. They cast her off utterly when, poor girl-mother, she
stubbornly refused to reveal the name of her betrayer. To them there
was nothing heroic in the answer, "Because _my_ life is ruined, shall
I ruin his?"

So they treasured it against her in her grave, and against her son
after her, in his grave too, that living, loathsome sepulchre, the
State prison.

But they had surmised a good deal regarding Jim's paternal parentage.
They searched for resemblances, birthmarks, peculiarities of feature,
owning that nature always set her brand upon the bastard, and that the
features, as well as the iniquities of the father, are always visited
upon the illegitimate. If this be the case, Jim must have come of some
strange blood. And yet, knowing him and his history, some might have
traced the poor mother in the boy, although of that mother he knew
very little. He had been told--oh, yes, he had been told--that she was
found in a garret one December morning with a vagabond baby nursing at
her dead breast. And old Nancy Piatt, the only one who ever seemed to
dislike talking to the lad about it, had told him that she was "a
pretty corpse, as pretty as the grave ever held," and that the dead
lips wore a smile, those dead lips that never would, and never could,
give up their pitiful secret. Poor lips; death had granted that which
life denied them--a smile. Stubbornness, the town gossips called the
woman's silence. In other circumstances it would have answered to the
higher term of fidelity, or, perhaps, heroism. Jim was very like his
mother, old Nancy said, despite Dame Nature's habit of branding.
Surely Nancy ought to be authority, for when the boy was left, at two
months old, on the town, old Nancy Piatt, a drunken old crone, who
washed the clothes of the rich all the week, and drank her earnings
Saturday evenings, was the only one who offered to "take the cub" whom
the authorities were ready to give away.

A sorry chance had Jim, although he never realized that. At ten he
could drink as much liquor as Nancy herself, and outswear the ablest
lawyer in the town. At twelve he could pick a lock better than a
blacksmith, and was known as one of the most cunning sneak thieves in
the place. At fourteen he beat a little boy of eight unmercifully.
(Did anybody expect old Nancy to tell him that was the crown crime of

Then someone suspected Nancy of a crime. One of those nameless crimes
concerning which the law is very jealous, not considering the slander
prevented, the "good name preserved," and the disgrace averted. All in
high circles, and all set in the scale against a useless little
baby,--a wicked little illegitimate baby, that is so heartless as to
be born, and thereby bring a world of trouble upon wealthy and
respectable people.

That old Nancy--for handsome considerations--had made away with the
selfish baby, Jim knew as well as anybody. And when he was offered
quite as handsome a sum to tell all he knew about it, his reply was to
plant his fist in the eye of the man who had made the offer. Not that
he cared for the cause the babe's coming had disgraced. He only meant
to stand by old Nance, and not all the money in the county's coffers
could have forced his lips to speak that which would hurt her. He was
afterward arrested and brought before the magistrate, together with
Nance, and swore, not by the calendared saints,--he hadn't made their
acquaintance,--but by "George," by "Gum," by "Gosh," and even by God
himself that he knew nothing at all about the matter. They knew he was
lying, but there was no way to prove it, as he attempted no dodge. He
was merely ignorant. Nance hadn't asked him to do this; she knew he
would do it if necessary. She had not attempted to win his love, his
confidence, or his gratitude. Perhaps she believed, in her blind way,
that these things are born, not won, like respect, and honor, and
admiration. He was fifteen when this happened. At sixteen Nance died
from the effects of a blow from a policeman's club while trying to
arrest her. Two weeks later the policeman died from the effects of a
blow from Jim's club while trying to protect old Nance. Two months
later the prison door closed on Jim, and the town took breath again in
a long, relieved sigh of "_Safe at last!_" As if vagabond Jim's
salvation had lain a weight for sixteen years upon their consciences.

It was certainly the face of a hardened creature that followed the
sheriff to the railroad station that June morning. June, sweet, old
love-laden, rose-burdened June. Of all the year to give up one's
freedom in June. And how many years before he would breathe the free,
rose-haunted air of another June. Twenty. Why, the twentieth century
would be dawning before he would be free again. Would his face be any
the less hard at the expiration of his term? _The penitentiary isn't a
hotbed of virtue_, and Jim wasn't wax. Nobody wasted any hopes on
him,--except the lessees, who, finding him able-bodied, young, and
healthy, sent him to the Branch prison to dig coal.

There an old gray-bearded warden offered a plea for his youth, and a
protest against the associations of the Branch, and was promptly
reminded that the Tennessee State prison was not a reformatory
institute, but that it had been leased as a financial speculation,
which was expected to yield at _least_ ten per cent. on the money
invested by the lessees.

So Jim went to the coal mines in the mountains, leaving his life, his
poor, puny sixteen years of dust and degradation, behind him. If there
was anything of brightness, any softening memory, any tender touch of
the human--_dream_ touches are they to the castaway--which Jim carried
with him, it was the memory of old Nance, drunken, filthy, murderous
old Nance, and the face of the gray-bearded warden who had lifted his
voice in his behalf.

It was noon of a day in June, early in the eighties, that Jim trudged
across the coal-sprinkled ridge upon which rose the great gray,
weather-beaten, rat-infested fence, which was dignified by the name of
stockade. To go out of life into a dungeon like that, and at noon of a
day in June. That Jim made no sign was accredited to his hardness of
heart. That, having registered and heard an official sneer at the
name, Jim Royal, and having passed through the hands of the barber,
and being duly entered at last among the State's hired help, and
dropped down on his ill-smelling bunk, a rat came and gnawed his ear,
and the vermin crawled unmolested over him, and still he gave no sign,
was set down to the account of his laziness.

"He won't be vicious," the warden said, "he is too lazy," and he
thought yearningly of the raw-hide lash hanging in the office. That
the stupor might be the result of weariness had never once suggested
itself. If it had, why still there was the lash. The lessees' ten _per
cent_. must be gotten out of that herd in the stockade, even if it
should be necessary to beat it out.

But when, the next morning, Jim fell into his place as brisk as any,
the warden began to waver between the lash and the pool. If he did not
need the one, he was fairly seen to require the other. All of them
needed some one, may be two, of the prison's medicines, and the warden
made a special point of spying out the diseases of new arrivals, and
applying the remedy as soon as possible. It told them, more plainly
than words, precisely the manner of treatment they were to expect in
case of any appearance of any of the several moral diseases with which
all convicts, young, old, rich, or poor, were supposed to be

Therefore, the warden "had his eye on Jim." And when the gang started
from the stockade across the black, coal-dusted mountains, to the
blacker mine beneath, he called to the new arrival, draining the last
of some sloppy coffee from a dingy tin cup at the greasy, board table
of the shed room that served for dining-room, and laundry, during the
week, and for chapel on Sundays.

"Come here, sir; what's your name, sir? At least what one did you
leave on the book out there?"

"The only one I've got," said Jim. "The clerk down there made it to
spell Royal."

"Royal." A sneer curled the lips of the official. "Here Black"--to the
guard,--"add this royal renegade to your company. Here, you fellow,
fall into line here, and be quick about it."

To Jim, accustomed from the day his dead mother's nipple had been
taken from his toothless gums to having his own free will, the surly
command came like a threat. He hesitated.

"Will you come, you bit of carrion, or shall I fetch you?"

Jim stood like a young lion at bay. His hands unconsciously drew up
into fists; one foot moved forward; the prisoners stood in wondering
groups, some recalling the day, five, ten, fifteen, aye, even fifty
years before, when they, too, had thought of defence. They, too, had
stood at bay. But they had learned the folly of it, and they knew Jim
would learn too; but still they half hoped he would get in that one
blow before the lesson began.

Such fists! such strength! And he came on like a young tiger, his eyes
ablaze, his nostrils quivering, his arm poised, his full chest
expanding, perfectly aware the officer was feeling for the pistol at
his belt, when, quick and noiseless, a small hand, white and delicate
as a woman's, reached out and drew the clenched fist down; a soft
voice, softened by despair, said: "It isn't any use; they'll down you
at last, and you only make it harder."

It was all done so quickly, the guards around had not had time "to
draw," else the rebellious one had received the reward of rebellion.

The warden replaced his pistol, with a curse upon it for not obeying
his effort to draw it. The young convict had ceased hostilities, and
stood submissive by the side of his unknown friend. He had not once
glanced at him, but something in his voice had controlled and subdued
his passion.

"Away with him," cried the officer. "To the pump, and afterward to the
pool. Get the straps ready there. We'll show our _royal_ friend who is
master here."

Again came an idea of resistance, but the same small hand was laid
upon his arm.

"My friend, it isn't any use. I tried it all. Go on and be punished.
It is part of life here. You receive it whether merited or not."

They dragged him off, strapped him, hand and foot, and writhing,
foaming, like the untamed wild beast that he was, they thrust him
under the great prison pump.

"That will cool his royal blood," laughed a guard, as the fearful
force of the cold current beating upon his shaven head knocked him

Drenched and beaten, utterly exhausted, he lay like a limp rag, until
three men had spent their strength upon the pump. Then to the pool
they dragged him, and "ducked" him three times into the dark, stagnant
water. Then back to the warden who asked if he "thought he had

"Not enough to make me take your jaw," was the foolish answer.

"The lash," said the warden, and the miserable, half-drowned creature
was taken away to be beaten "into subjection."

The guard overlooked the punishment. A stout, burly convict was
required to perform it. He would have refused, being in like strait,
only that he knew the uselessness. He had been there a long time,
forty years, and according to his sentence would be there for fifty
more. He had picked up a little scripture at the prison Sunday
school, so that when he lifted the whip above the back they had made
bare for it, he whispered, by way of apology:--

"And one Simon, a Cyrenian, him they compelled to bear the cross."

But Jim didn't understand even if he had heard. All he heard was that
low, patient voice calling him "friend."

In the afternoon he was sent down to the mines, subdued, but not
conquered. Every evil passion of his nature had been aroused, and
would never slumber again.

After that first day's experience he seemed indeed a wild beast. He
fought among the prisoners, rebelled against the rules of the prison,
would have nothing to do with any but the worst of the men, shirked
his work until he had to be strapped and beaten, in short, made a
record that had never been surpassed by any previous man on the prison

Yet, when there was danger of any kind, he was the first there. One
morning there was an explosion in the mine, and more than a score of
prisoners were in danger of being suffocated before help could reach
them. Indeed everybody was afraid to venture in that black hole from
which the hot, sulphurous gases were pouring. Everybody but Jim. Even
the warden had to admit Jim's courage. "He aint afraid of the devil,"
he declared, when he saw the boy jump into an empty coal car, call to
the mule to "git up," and disappear in the gas and smoke with the
empty cars rumbling behind him. It was a long time before he came out,
but he brought ten insensible convicts in his first haul. The lessees
recommended him for that, and promised to make it good sometime if he
kept on at that rate.

Another time there was a fire. The rumbling old rat-hole was
threatened with destruction, and with it three hundred and
seventy-five of the State's charges. The men glared like beasts
through the cracks of the tottering stockade. Liberty, it would come
surely in some form. The fire was confined for a time to the wing
where the hospital was. But when it mounted in a great blood-dappled
sheet of flame to the top of an old rotten tower above the main
building, where the prisoners were huddled, it became evident that all
must go unless the old tower could be torn away. Up the uneven,
rickety wall went Jim, nimble as a squirrel. Crack! crack! fell the
dead boards, then with a clang and clamor, down rolled the old bell
from its perch, carrying with it the last of the burning tower.

Jim climbed down as sullen as ever. He didn't care to save the old
shanty, or to win any praise from anybody. He was simply not afraid,
and his courage would not permit him to do other than what he did.

Nobody cared for him specially, although the soft-voiced man with the
small, womanish hands spoke to him often, and always kindly. Jim never
forgot that he had called him friend. The memory of it stayed with
him, like the kiss of a first love that lingers long after love is
dead. Most of the men were afraid of him, so fierce was his temper,
and so easily aroused. Even the warden had learned that he could not
tame him. The strap, the lash, the pool, the pump, had been applied
times without number. The warden was still "looking around" for the
time to apply the last resource, the shotgun. It was pretty sure to
come, for the boy was entirely "unscrupulous."

Summer set in again. Again June came, and tried to bloom even on the
coal-tracked mountain about the mine. Somewhere up back among the pine
and shadows the wild roses were blooming, and the grapes. Their odors
came down to the men as they tramped across the hot, bare, coal-strewn
way between the stockade and the mines.

With the coming of June came a number of strangers to the mountain.
They always came in the warm season, but they quartered themselves
over in the town, beyond the stockade, and the stench, and filth, and
crime found there.

Only one, a young man, a minister who had been expelled from the
church in the city where he had preached, found his way to the prison.
He went out one Sunday afternoon, and asked permission to preach to
the convicts. It was freely granted. Such wild heresy! Such odd,
eccentric ideas! Such flights of oratory! Such fiery brands tossed
into the old tabernacles of religious belief! Such blows upon the old
batteries of narrowness and impossibility! They had never heard
anything like it. Had he preached thus anywhere else he would have
been promptly silenced. But a lot of convicts was not an audience
likely to be injured by the too free circulating of the doctrine he
advocated. What if he should convince them that eternal punishment was
a myth, and an insult flung in the face of the Creator? A slur upon
His justice, and a lie to His divine goodness? What if he snapped his
finger at a lake of brimstone and of eternal fire? And his wild
ravings about an inconsistent Being, accepted as the head of all
wisdom, and tenderness,--and mercy, and at the same time as the
perfection of all cruelty and injustice, in that He creates only to
destroy,--what if the seed scattered should take root? What if those
old sin-blackened souls should comfort themselves with the new
doctrine, the idea that no good can be lost? God cannot be God and
destroy any good thing. It is wicked, it is devilish to kill that
which is good. God cannot be wicked and be the good God, the kind
All-Father, at the same time. Nor has He created any so vile as to be
without some one virtue. In the dust of the evil He has not failed to
drop one grain of gold to glisten, and to make glad the dull waste of
life. The grain is there, planted by God's hand, in _every_ soul. It
was in _their_ souls, poor, old, sin-covered, forsaken souls, toiling
up to the light through those begrimed walls among the filth, and
dust, and mould. Not one of them but was God's work, and bore His
grain of gold. None would be lost, not one. What matter if the prison
registrar's table of deaths did record so many, Found dead! Drowned!
Killed! Shot! Blank! Blank! Blank! Meaning they disappeared, nobody
knows how or when.

It was a strange, sweet hope to them, that came in that wild sermon of
a bishop-silenced young heretic. They thought about it a good deal,
and began, some of them whose terms were to expire with life, to dig
down into the rust and mire with the spade of conscience for the
hidden grain.

The minister was at the stockade often, cheering, sympathizing, and
always comforting the convicts with the certainty of eternal love, and
the folly of eternal punishment. One day he stumbled upon a man who
was being strapped and prepared for punishment at the pump. His face
was sullen, and there were splotches of blood on his clothes, and he
limped when he attempted to walk. Still there was something in the
old, young face, that neither cruelty nor threats could kill. They
might turn on the icy water, and exhaust themselves with lashing him,
but that stoic determination would not yield. They might _murder_ him,
but from his fixed, dead eyes, _it_ would glare at them, that same
heroic, immovable _something_ that had shone in the staring eyes of
his dead mother.

No visitors were allowed in that part of the prison, so the minister
held back until, fearing the limp figure under the pump would be
beaten to death by the cruel pour of water upon his head, he stepped
forward to interfere.

"In God's name, I beg you stop," he cried, his hand uplifted, his eyes
full of tears. "Your punishment is beastly. What has the fellow done?
Is someone murdered?"

"Someone ought to be," sullenly replied the man at the pump-handle.
"And someone might be if this sneaking rascal was the only hope of
preventing it."

There had been a plot among the convicts to batter down the shaky old
stockade, and break for freedom. They had secured a gun and some
ammunition, where, no one could tell, and the plot had well-nigh
succeeded. The guard on the wall had been killed, three men had
escaped, and the prison bloodhounds were lying in the kennel with
their throats cut.

Already the governor of the State had telegraphed freedom to the
convicts not in the scheme who would give the names of those engaged
in it. Even the leader's name; for _that_ freedom was offered, pardon

Something let fall discovered to the warden that Jim, while not in,
was familiar with the whole history of the insurrection. The offer of
freedom had no further effect upon him than a careless refusal to
comply with the terms set forth. But when force was suggested, he set
his lips in that old way that belonged to his mother, and said
nothing. Three days they gave him to "knock under." But the only
change noticeable during that time was a more decided sullenness, a
look in the cold, gray eyes that meant death rather than yielding.

Once the soft-voiced young man who had put out his hand in his defence
the day of his arrival at the stockade, and had afterward called him
"friend," the only time he had ever heard the word addressed to
himself, once he came over where Jim sat cleaning the warden's boots,
and motioned him.

Jim shook his head, and went on blacking the big boots. But when the
young convict drew nearer, and tried to take his hand, he drew back,
and struck at him viciously with the blacking brush.

"Git out, will you! And don't come a-fooling with this brush, lest you
want your d--n head broke."

He had seen a guard spying upon them at a half open door in the rear
of the young convict. At Jim's outburst of temper the guard entered.

"Come away from him, Solly," he said, "the surly beast is as like as
not to knock your brains out."

The convict turned to obey, but the glance he got of Jim's face
carried a full explanation. The temper was affected to keep down
suspicion. After that came the punishment at the pump, the merciless
beating, and then, all things proving unavailing, he was put in the
dungeon to have the "truth starved out of him."

After three days he was brought out, faint, pale, ready to die at
every step, but with that same immovable _something_ shining in his
eyes, and his lips still set in the old way that he had of his mother.

His hands were manacled, and an iron chain clanked about his feet as
he dragged them wearily one after the other. For three days he had
tasted no food, except a rat that he had caught in the dungeon. He ate
it raw, like a dog, and searched eagerly for another. Just as he had
found it, and skinned it with the help of his teeth, the guard peered
through the grating, and seeing what he was doing, entered, and put
handcuffs upon him, after first removing the raw flesh to a point
where he could see, but not touch it. And there it lay, torturing him
while he starved. And there it lay until it became carrion, and
tortured him again. And then they had dragged him out again, out under
the blue sky, where the trees--the old sweet-smelling pines--were
waving their purple plumes upon the distant mountains, and the wild
grape filled the air with perfume, and the wild roses were pink as
childhood's sweet, young dreams, and over all was bended the blue
heaven. And heaven spread before him, heaven; behind him lay hell,
fifteen years of it less one. And they gave him choice again betwixt
the two. They even crammed a bit of moral in the offer. "It was
right," they said, "to tell on those who had broken the prison
regulations, mere justice to the lessees." Right! too late to talk to
him of right. He glanced once at the pines, going farther away,
whiffed at the pleasant odor of the grape blooms, waved his hand to
the roses, in farewell, perhaps, lifted his face to the blue
heaven--he had never looked heavenward before in all his wretched
years,--then, wearing that same old look of his mother's, he turned,
without a word, and re-entered the prison.

Back to the pump, the lash, and at last to the dungeon.

But he no longer dreaded it. It was the Sabbath, and the shackles had
been removed, but he was too weary to notice the rat that came out and
sat peering at him, nibbling at his wet prison clothes, and his feet
and hands. Even the carrion did not disturb any more. The scent of the
wild grape blooms was still in his nostrils. And when the day wore on,
and the two o'clock bell sounded, calling the men to Sunday school, he
started up with a cry of "Here." He had thought the bell a voice at
the dungeon door, and fancied that it said, "friend!"

He dropped back, with a smile on his lips. Could old Nance have peeped
in at that moment she would have pronounced him very like his mother
with that smile, and that stanch old heroism shining in his wide, dead

       *       *       *       *       *

Down in the office the registrar entered upon the death list:

"James Royal--Natural death."

Natural? then God help the unnatural.

"The worst one ever fell into our hands," the warden told the minster
as he came out of the chapel with the soft-voiced friend of the dead
man's. "Not a spark of good in _him_, parson. Jim Royal knocks your
theory all to pieces."

But the friend had been telling the minister a story. And as he passed
out at the rattling stockade gate, he, too, glanced up at the blue
sky. His doubts were gone, if there had been any, his faith was
planted in God's eternal goodness.

"Can such die?" he mused, "such faithfulness, such magnificent
courage, such glorious fidelity? Is it possible that such can pass
away into eternal torment?"

The soft wind touched his cheek and bore heavenward the prayer he

"Forbid it, Almighty God."



The decision recently handed down by Judge Hammond, of the United
States District Court, in the celebrated case of R. M. King, is rich
in lessons of vital importance to thoughtful minds at the present time
of unrest, when conservatism is seeking on every hand, even under the
cloak of radical movements, to secure statutes and legal constructions
of laws which may at an early day be used to fetter thought, crush
liberty, and throttle the vanguard of progress. Briefly stated, the
important facts in the case in question are as follows: Mr. King is an
honest, hard-working farmer. He is charged with no breach of morals;
in fact, it appears that he is a remarkably upright man. But he is a
Seventh Day Adventist; that is, he does not hold the same religious
views as the majority in his State. He stands in the same relation to
his countrymen as that occupied by the early disciples of Christ to
Roman society when Nero undertook to punish Christians by kindling
nightly human fires for the delectation of conservative or majority
thought. He is of the minority, even as the Huguenots were in the
minority when the Church tortured, racked, and burned them for the
glory of God and the good of humanity. He is of the minority, as was
Roger Williams when, in 1635, the popular and conventional thought of
Salem banished him. Mr. King is not an infidel or even a doubter. On
the contrary he is ardently religious, being a zealous and
conscientious member of a sect of Christians noted for their piety and
faith. The Adventists, of whom he is an honored member, it must be
remembered, hold somewhat peculiar views about the second advent of
Christ. They believe they find in the Bible commands making it
obligatory upon them to keep holy the seventh day of the week, or the
Hebrew Sabbath, instead of Sunday, the holiday and rest day observed
by most Christian denominations. Now it was shown in the trial that,
conforming to his belief, Mr. King strictly observed the Sabbath on
Saturday, but being a poor farmer he could not afford to rest two days
each week, or over one hundred days in the year, and, therefore, after
having kept the Sabbath he plowed in his field on Sunday. This aroused
the pious indignation of the narrow-minded and bigoted members of the
community who profess to follow that great Leader who taught us to
judge not, to resist not evil, and to do unto others as we would have
others do unto us. These Christians (?) who, unfortunately for the
cause of justice and religious liberty, are in the majority in
Tennessee, had this conscientious, God-fearing man arrested as a
common felon, and convicted of the heinous crime (?) of
Sabbath-breaking by plowing on Sunday. He appealed to the Supreme
Court, and the sentence was affirmed. Then the Adventists and the
National Secular Association took up the case. Hon. Don M. Dickinson
was engaged as counsel, and the case was taken to the Federal Court
last November on a writ of habeas corpus, the contention being that
the conviction was contrary to the bill of rights of Tennessee and the
Constitution of the United States, and that the defendant was held
prisoner by the sheriff without due process of law. The application
was argued several months ago, and Judge Hammond has had it under
advisement until recently, when his decision was given in which the
defendant was remanded back to the custody of the sheriff to pay the
fine or serve the time according to the sentence. This decision holds
that malice, religious or otherwise, may dictate a prosecution, but if
the law has been violated this fact does not shield the law-breaker.
Neither do the courts require that there shall be some moral obloquy
to support a given law before enforcing it, and it is not necessary to
maintain that to violate the Sunday observance customs shall be of
itself immoral to make it criminal in the eyes of the law.

Suggestive, indeed, are the lessons of this great judicial crime
against liberty, justice, and God. In the first place it illustrates
the fact which must long since have become apparent to thinking men
that the guarantee of the Constitution of the United States, which,
more than aught else, has made this Republic the flower of all
preceding nations, is yearly becoming less and less regarded by the
small men and narrow minds who interpret law and who, instead of
showing how unconstitutional any law is which violates the great
charter of right, yield to the present craze for Governmental
Paternalism, paying no more heed to our Constitution than if it was
the ukase of a Czar. In numerous instances during the past decade has
this solemn fact been emphasized, until it is evident that with the
reaction toward Paternalism and centralization has come the old time
spirit of intolerance and moral obloquy on the part of the governing
powers which has been one of the chief curses of the ages, entailing
indescribable misery on the noblest and best, and holding in
subjection the vanguard of progress, which always has been and always
will be the minority, regarded by the majority as dangerous innovators
or disseminators of false theories and doctrines. In my article on
Socialism I noted the case of Mr. King, observing that:--

     He in no way deserves the shameful imprisonment he is suffering;
     yet the prejudice of the majority sustains the infamous law that
     makes criminals of the innocent and takes not into consideration
     the rights of the minority. _And what is more, the religious
     press is so dominated by bigotry and ancient prejudice that it is
     blind alike to the Golden Rule and the inexorable demands of
     justice._ If in any State the Adventists, the Hebrews, or any
     other people who believed in observing Saturday instead of Sunday
     should happen to predominate, and they undertook to throw
     Christians into dungeons, and after branding them criminals
     should send them to the penitentiary for working on Saturday,
     indignation would blaze forth throughout Christendom against the
     great injustice, the wrong against the liberty of the rights of
     the citizen. The only difference is that poor Mr. King is in the
     minority; he is the type of those who always have been and always
     will be made to suffer when the government is strong enough to
     persecute all who do not accept what is considered truth and
     right by the majority.

In replying to my paper Mr. Bellamy thus flippantly dismissed this
case: "Of this it may be remarked that had it happened two centuries
ago it would have been symptomatic; to-day it is a curiosity." It will
be observed that in order to minify the dangers of Paternalism, Mr.
Bellamy entirely ignored the point I had italicized, viz.: the
Christian sentiment of society was not outraged and what was more,
"_the religious press was so dominated by bigotry and ancient
prejudice that it was blind alike to the Golden Rule and the
inexorable demands of justice_." To-day we are told that this great
judicial crime is a curiosity, although the religious bigotry of the
majority has been upheld by the lower, the federal, and supreme
courts, while the religious press has, with rare exceptions,
sanctioned the persecution or ignored the case.

In vain the long-cherished idea that this country was to pass down the
cycle of time known as the land of freedom; that it was to be forever
the asylum for religious liberty and the cradle of progress, unless
the sober thought of our people be at once aroused to stem the rising
tide of Governmentalism and the steady encroachment of religious
organizations and despotic foreign thought.

Comparatively few of the leading secular journals[6] have deemed this
outrage sufficiently important to call for editorial comment,
notwithstanding it marks the establishing of a precedent which must
inevitably work great misery to innocent people at the hands of
religious fanatics, unless there is a sufficient agitation to cause
the repeal of many iniquitous laws which are a menace to the rightful
freedom of citizens as long as they remain on the statute books.

      [6] Among the few papers which have denounced this judicial
          crime are the New York _Commercial Advertiser_ and the St.
          Louis _Republic_. The former journal observes: "It seems
          that the glorious clause of the Constitution can give no
          protection to men who conscientiously believe they should
          literally observe the Fourth Commandment.... It seems that
          when a State seeks to enforce religious duty all consciences
          must bow before it. That is to say, if, for example, the
          Catholics of Louisiana were to pass a law that no man should
          taste meat on Friday, the act would be no infringement of
          religious liberty.

          There can be but one opinion upon this decision among all
          liberal-minded men. It is odious sophistry, unworthy of the
          age in which we live. And under it an American citizen has
          been condemned to spend the rest of his days in a dungeon
          unless he shall stoop to deny the dictates of his own
          conscience and dishonor his own manhood.

          The _Republic_ in an editorial of August second says: "Not
          being able to leave his crops unworked for two days in the
          week, Mr. King ploughed them on Sunday, after having kept
          the Sabbath the day before. He was arrested under the Sunday
          law, and in order to make it effective against him it was
          alleged that his work on his own farm on Sunday created a
          public nuisance. On this entirely untenable ground he has
          been harassed from court to court. He was a poor man, but he
          has been supported by the friends of religious liberty. Mr.
          King has been greatly wronged, but his only remedy at law is
          under the law and Constitution of Tennessee. It appears that
          for the present his remedy is denied him, and this being the
          case he has no better recourse than to submit to the
          oppression and go to prison--to the convict camp, if it
          suits the convenience of his persecutors to send him there."


To the superficial observer who, as guests of royalty, loitered
through the sunny days which marked the closing years of Louis XV.,
France presented the aspect of a gay, thoughtless, happy, butterfly
nation, whose government on the whole satisfied the requirements of
the rich and powerful, and was sustained by the strong arm of the
army on the one hand and the impregnable influence of the Church on
the other. Small heed was to be given to the pamphleteers, whose
brilliant satire, biting sarcasm, and pointed logic afforded amusement
at the Louvre, rather than struck dismay to the hearts of those who
fondly believed that the Church still held in thrall the brain of the
masses, and that as for centuries the people had been content with
slavery and vassalage, it was absurd to imagine they had now come to
man's estate, had, Phoenix-like, arisen from the ashes of old-time
sullen obedience or ignorant content, into the tumultuous atmosphere
of intellectual activity. It is true, some far-seeing brains beheld
the coming storm and warned the king, urging him to either suppress
the philosophers, or concede to the masses a greater meed of justice,
but their views were scouted by the ruling or conventional thought of
the court, and life at the Louvre continued a merry whirl of carnal
and selfish delight. The morning brought the chases, and evening the
banquet, the theatre, or the ball; while at intervals grand
polytechnic exhibitions delighted the populace, being given, probably,
in the vain hope that they would satisfy the rising discontent, much
as the gladiatorial shows satisfied, while they still further
brutalized, the degraded populace of ancient Rome, making possible the
toleration of such colossal iniquity as marked the decline of the
Empire. Such, then, was the aspect of court life, while above the
social and political horizon were gathering clouds which prophesied
the greatest cataclysm civilization had witnessed. The wilful
short-sightedness, the supreme indifference to the principles of
justice, liberty, and fraternity; the conspicuous absence of the
spirit of humanity, which characterized those who might have averted
the coming baptism of blood, was the legitimate result of the
anæsthetizing of the soul of the Court and aristocracy with the lust
of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The divine
spark had disappeared. The spiritual nature had given way to the
sensual. Ambition and pleasure were enthroned in the seats of justice
and humanity. Selfishness was the keynote of aristocratic life. And
with this fact kept in view, the short-sightedness of royalty in the
presence of the rising tide of intelligent discontent is by no means
strange. Indifferent to the fate of the masses in any struggle that
might be precipitated, guided by none of the higher impulses of life,
and possessing implicit confidence in the impregnability of that
triple bulwark of conservatism, the army, the police, and the Church,
the ruling party of French aristocracy drifted down the stream
garlanded with roses, revelling in wine and music, abandoning itself
to pleasure on life's lowest plane.

To the student of social conditions, who might have been a guest of
the philosopher Rousseau, the picture photographed on the mental
retina would have been far different. Above he would have beheld the
round of selfish, thoughtless gaiety, in which the images and
intrigues of Madame Dubarry and Marie Antoinette, of Choiseul and
Rohan, of Louis and Richelieu, were strangely mingled and distorted by
exaggeration, as they sifted down from the Court through several
layers of brains until they reached the world of the newly awakened
laborer. Below him would have yawned, in all its hideousness, the
blackness of the pit, the social cellar into which he would have seen
thousands and scores of thousands of his fellow-men crowded or driven
by want, misfortune, or the avarice of the more powerful, and from
which so few who once fall ever rose to the noble estate of true
manhood and womanhood. Around him he would have noted still another
world, more interesting and yet more terrible in its ferocity and
power than those above and below--the realm of the common people--the
sphere of the masses--the _current_ which passed over the darkest
dregs and bore on its surface the scum. In this world the strange and
interesting phenomenon would have met his eye of a newly awakened
brain, an intellect which after ages of semi-unconsciousness, had, in
a surprisingly short time, been aroused by the intellectual brilliancy
of thinkers who had flooded a nation with new ideas, who had kindled
the fires of justice, who had spoken in the _ear of all the people_
the doctrine of the essential brotherhood of man, the kinship of the
throne and the shop, the idler in the palace and the idler in the
cellar; the cormorant who dined off the labor of others at Lucerne,
and the low-browed outcasts occupied in the same way but pursuing
different methods, in the social sewer. And he would have noticed an
unusual activity in this working world; secret meetings were being
held on every hand. The great philosophical works of Rousseau
breathing a new hope and a larger life into the soul of every reader,
and the withering satire of Voltaire falling against the battlements
of the church and the throne--these were the text-books and watchword
of the new revolution. Tens of thousands of men who a few years before
had accepted unquestioningly the assurance of the priests and obeyed
as children the decrees of Royalty, were now thinking as never before
on justice and equity, were students and intelligent expounders of the
master brains which blossomed forth on every hand, in spite of priest
and police. Heresy and liberty, justice and freedom, progress and
equity had joined hands; conventionalism was doomed. The cry for
justice went up from every hand to the crown and the aristocracy, only
to come back with a mocking laugh or a royal restrictive decree. Thus
the flame was fanned. The noble teaching of the great apostles of
light and justice which illuminated the brains of the people and at
first filled their hearts with holy love and wonderful tenderness,
making them ready to accept and only desirous of receiving that
measure of justice and consideration to which they knew they were
entitled, later changed to feelings of hate and desire for revenge
which ever grows as mushrooms in the average mind when justice is
denied and oppression bears down more relentlessly at each complaint
that comes from the oppressed. It is a law of life on the lower plane
that selfishness, indifference, and heartlessness coming from above
are photographed upon the sensitive intellect of the struggling minds
below, which vainly ask for justice, only to return in time
intensified a hundred-fold--selfishness becomes active and is
complemented by an insane desire to destroy. Indifference calls forth
unbridled ferocity. Heartlessness awakens sentiments of cruelty and
brutality as relentless and destructive as the cyclone.

The social sewer or cellar of Paris at this time presented as
interesting and suggestive a study as the toiling world above. Here
were thousands of human beings dwelling in the atmosphere of crime and
brutality, hungry, cold, and well-nigh hopelessly vicious by virtue of
want, association, and environment, and ready for, if not eagerly
anticipating any social upheaval which would afford them an
opportunity to plunder and pillage. This world presented then, as it
ever must, the saddest and most hopeless spectacle in the kaleidoscope
of life. There were scores of thousands in this social sewer and new
recruits coming daily. The avarice and extravagance of the Court
pressed upon the great stratum of middle life, which in time bore down
upon the lower sphere with crushing weight, while many of its numbers,
weary of the eternal struggle, relaxed their hold on respectability
and fell into the pit of crime and moral death. The inhabitants of
this realm presented a picture of ferocity and despair, which must
necessarily prove a frightful element in a revolution. The social
cellar was only waiting for the signal when its hideous throat would
belch forth death as surely as cannon or mortar ever hurled the
life-destroying bomb. Such was life in France in the world of the
wealthy and the world of want; while Louis drank Dubarry's health;
while Marie Antoinette longed for her childhood home, and the Dauphin
busied himself with geography, lock-making, and clock-repairing.

When Louis XV. died the scum had so thoroughly poisoned the great
current of life in France that it is probable that even had there been
far wiser heads at the helm of State than Louis XVI. and his
councillor they would have found it difficult, if not impossible, to
prevent a bloody reckoning, for the love of peace and reverence for
justice, the cool judgment and mature wisdom which swayed the popular
mind at an early day was well-nigh drowned in the rising tide of angry
discontent and intense hate. A settled conviction pervaded the soul of
the masses that the hour had come when might should make right the
age-long wrongs of the people; and when an idea of this character
possesses the rank and file of a nation it is almost impossible even
by a liberal policy to avert a bloody issue.

I have dwelt upon this striking passage of history because it bristles
with suggestive lessons and warning notes to the great Republic at
the present time, and because the grave evils, which are as
symptomatic to-day as were the signs of the times portentous in the
reign of the easy-going, sensual Louis, are being met by those who
have it in their power to avert a social catastrophe in precisely the
same short-sighted spirit as characterized the conservative
aristocracy when it denied the existence of the universal discontent
among the masses and flippantly dismissed the angry muttering of the
coming storm as merely the expression of a few shallow-brained
malcontents. To-day we find the same brutal indifference and
selfishness as was so conspicuous at the Louvre in 1770, exhibited by
our mushroom aristocracy of the dollar, composed of those who form and
control the great monopolies, syndicates, trusts, and combines, which
are so cruelly oppressing the many that the few may grow many times
millionnaires; together with the great railway magnates, who have
through watering stock on the one hand, and plundering the
commonwealth of farmers by exorbitant freights on the other,
dishonestly amassed colossal fortunes. And that still more baleful
communion which forms such an important part of America's shoddy
aristocracy, the Wall Street gamblers, they who rule "the street,"
paralyzing healthy business, causing panics at will, and annually
sweeping to the wall, to ruin and to death numbers of victims who have
been lured into their snares by deceptive reports industriously
circulated and extensively published by paid agents of these same
brigands of the commercial world.

This mushroom plutocracy, whose representatives hold colossal fortunes
acquired rather than earned, practically rule our business interests
by virtue of the enormous opportunities afforded by their great
wealth. And year by year are they increasing the rising tide of
indignation in the hearts of millions of hard-working men and women,
by grinding down more and still more hopelessly the multitude
dependent on them, whom they can reduce to starvation if they rebel.
Another element, which, viewed from the plane of justice and equity
may be rightly termed _criminal_, is the popular and conservative
economist who caters to the plutocracy and with brazen effrontery
denies facts susceptible of proof, while he denounces every reformer
who seeks to expose the iniquities of the present. This course is
precisely a repetition of the policy of those who minified the real
danger and misrepresented the grave facts to the Court of France, at a
time when an honest, truthful representation might have averted the
most terrible revolution in the annals of civilization. Only a short
time since a popular economic writer denounced a Boston clergyman for
unveiling the horrors of the sweating system in the modern Athens. He
could not deny the truth of the sickening facts described, but termed
the minister a member of one of the "_most dangerous class_" of
citizens, merely because he spoke the truth with a view to bettering
the condition of society's exiles.

At a recent meeting of the Rhode Island weavers, a distinguished and
popular conservative economic writer addressed the hard struggling
workingmen. During his remarks he sought to make them blindly and
contentedly accept their lot by saying in honeyed tones: "_Why, my
dear friends, the production of the country only furnishes $200 a head
annually, and it is hard to make it go around. It is only by hard
pinching and careful economy that we can make it do so;_" while almost
within gunshot of the speaker rose the palaces of America's
millionnaires, at Newport, where gigantic fortunes are annually
squandered with lavish hands; where Mr. McAllister and his butterfly
coterie of wealthy gourmands eat, drink, and dance away the summer,
and illustrate how _these_ children of idleness and wealth have to
"_pinch and plan_" _to make their share_ "_of the $200 go around_," of
which the distinguished conservative economist spoke. If the masses of
our people were unable to read or write, if they had been accustomed
to centuries of oppression, a policy so glaringly unjust and
disingenuous might succeed for a time. But with conditions as they
are, the persistent crying of peace when there is no peace, and
attempting to juggle with facts is more than foolish, it is
_criminal_. One who does not regularly read the labor and agricultural
press of this country is incapable of forming an intelligent idea of
the nature or extent of the discontent at the present time. Then
again, beyond this commonwealth of struggling toilers rises another
commonwealth, the frightful condition of which no careful student can
ignore. I refer to society's exiles, or the contingent of the social
cellar. This element grows more powerful with each year. It is not
securing justice at the hands of civilization and must some day be
reckoned with.

In every agitation, every crusade against wrong, every battle for
humanity, every contest for a broader sweep of justice, conventional
critics have arrayed themselves on the side of the evil conditions,
and denounced as dangerous agitators those who have sought to arouse
the higher impulses of the people to right the crying wrongs of the
hour. The treatment of Garrison and Phillips by this class in Boston,
even in the shadow of the Cradle of Liberty, during the anti-slavery
agitation, is of sufficiently recent date to emphasize this point,
which has been paralleled in every important agitation for a higher
civilization and a more just condition. To ignore the serious social
unrest of the present, and the bitter cry of the weak for justice, is
to follow the fatal precedent set by the French government. To deny
the reality of the wrongs complained of, or lightly dismiss them as
our popular economists are doing, is to pursue the ostrich policy with
the certainty of being overtaken by the results of the evil which
might have been averted. It matters not whether our "eminent"
authorities are ignorant of the true social condition in city and
country life to-day, or are wickedly juggling with truth in order to
curry favor with plutocracy and conservatism, the fact remains that
they are deceiving their masters as courtiers have often deceived
thrones at moments when deception meant ruin. The duty of the hour is
to _turn on the light_, to compel the thoughtful among our wealthy and
powerful people to know the truth as it is, and to seek such a just
and equitable revolution as will save a baptism of blood. The day for
prophesying smooth things is past; we are face to face with problems
and conditions which will not brook dishonest treatment. The
exigencies of the present hour demand that we frankly face the social
problems as they are and honestly discuss them in all their bearings.
That we call to witness the impressive lessons of history and if
possible, avert the repetition of the cataclysms of the past by prompt
measures, marked by wisdom and justice. It is not too late to prevent
a revolution of force if _wealth and power_ will heed the cry of _want
and weakness_; if justice, courage, and duty supplant self-interest
and indifference in the hearts of those who see and feel the rising
tide of angry discontent. To-day if we would demonstrate that a
century of civilization and free government has lifted us to a higher
ethical level than humanity had attained a hundred years ago, we must
face conditions as they are and promptly adopt measures that will
secure such a meed of justice for the weak as shall take from his
heart the bitterness of injustice and establish a feeling of common
brotherhood and good-will.

       *       *       *       *       *

[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. 589, "Samangala" changed to "Sumangala"
2. p. 603, "Lassez-faire" changed to "Laissez-faire"
3. p. 607, Both "J. S. Moffitt, Jr." and "J. S. Moffit, Jr." appear
           on page 607.
4. p. 622, "nothng" changed to "nothing"
5. p. 632, "Even he carrion" changed to "Even the carrion"
6. p. 633, "Sabbath or" changed to "Sabbath on"

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. 23, October, 1891" ***

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